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Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Dawson, Rosenshein, Cheek; Revzen

1 rating: 3.0
An album by Franz Joseph Haydn, Joel Revzen, John Cheek, Lynne Dawson, Minnesota Chorale, Neil Rosenshein, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
1 review about Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Dawson, Rosenshein,...

Archangels sing of the wonders of the Creation

  • Jun 7, 2001
The "Creation" libretto, originally in English (sung in German, here), is based on Genesis, the Psalms, and on Milton's "Paradise Lost." Archangels, a chorus, and Adam and Eve make up the singing parts, and were usually accompanied in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by a large orchestra. In this 1988 recording, the singers are accompanied by the slightly smaller Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, which plays with correctness and polish.

My only criticism is that the dynamics of the introduction, "Die Vorstellung des Chaos," vary so greatly that I have to fiddle with the volume knob during the whole interval when darkness is still "upon the face of the Deep." (A little over 7 minutes in this version.)

Lynne Dawson is the British soprano who sang the "Libera Me" from Verdi's "Requiem" at the funeral of Princess Diana. In this 1988 recording with, she takes on the dual roles of Eve and the archangel Gabriel. She sounds exactly how I would expect an angel to sound: glorious and yet ravishingly pure.

Dawson's latest release, issued by Hyperion, is a solo CD of English songs called "On This Island," and she has also recorded many a Mozartian soubrette.

John Cheek, the American base who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1977, employs his resonant bass in the roles of Adam and the Archangel Raphael (he would have been a great voice of God, if Haydn had given God a singing part).

American lyric tenor Neil Rosenshein sings the role of the Archangel Uriel.

Incidentally, no sad ending mars Haydn's most famous oratorio. While listening to "The Creation," you can almost believe that we never did get kicked out of Eden.

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Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Dawson, Rosenshein, Cheek;
Label: Albany Records
Release Date: July 6, 1995

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