Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Joseph Haydn, Die Schöpfung - Salzburger Festspiele, Großes Festspielhaus

Performance 22nd July

The opening of this year's Salzburg Festival featured Haydn's Schöpfung (The Creation) with a stellar cast and a performance that opens a summer full of interesting performances. Before the concert started the festival president Helga Rabl-Stadler welcomed the audience to the Festival and explained why this piece is simply perfect to open a summer full of artistical creations.
The glorious performance was led by noone else than the future music director of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who without any doubt is one of the leading conductors of his generation. He conducted with such passion and excitement that the performance could only become successful. His conducting is not only elegant, but also very clear and accurate. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe did a great job following his instructions and played vividly and with a great range of dynamics and articulation possibilities. The many small ornaments sounded really delicately and the orchestra simply convinced  with an impressive consonance.
Also the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks gave a marvelous performance and proved that it is one of the leading choirs in Europe. I rarely ever heard a choir with such balanced and well-rounded sound. From the great choir scenes to the more intimate passages they managed to convey the right emotions with a great organic performance.
The soloists of the evening also gave a strong performance with highly professional singing. Gerald Finley convinced with a sonorous beautiful baritone voice and probably the best diction of the evening. Every word was so understandable and well interpreted that his performance was very vividly and colorful.
Werner Güra's tenor also suited the music perfectly with his bright timbre and a seemingly effortless performance. This kind of music seems to suit his voice very well and he obviously looked very comfortable.
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller also gave a wonderful performance with her beautiful lyric soprano and a timbre that is both, beautiful and sustainable. Despite having a comparably light voice she still had no problems to fill the hall with her voice and convinced with a very fresh performance.
Alltogether it was a glorious performance which makes me hope for a great festival summer and many wonderful creations. 10 stars.

Reviewed by Daniel Url

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