Posts Tagged ‘Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten’

The fact that Haydn’s The Seasons could be described as “the Gemütlichkeit’s guide to life, love, agriculture, hunt etc” does not make it a favorite in the Austrian composer’s opus. Generally, when a concert hall gathers the forces necessary to perform it, it ends up using them for a performance of The Creation. In any case, even if it is true that the latter is a more consistent work, The Seasons has its moments, especiaolly the large scale chorus numbers. If one feels inclined to give it a try, then Douglas Boyd and the Orchestre the Chambre de Paris could be the perfect advocates for it.

As performed this evening, The Seasons had very little coziness in it, but rather vital tempi, excitingly articulate divisions by the violins and readiness of attack. Although sentimentality was avoided, Mr. Boyd and his soloists did not shy from feeling and dealt with the akward libretto with respect. Accentus offered animated choral singing and, if the excellent group of sopranos seemed to overshadow the other voices, this seems to be a side-effect of the acoustics of the Philharmonie. Mari Eriksmoen’s soprano veers towards the soubrettish, but she sang with absolute purity of tone and sense of style. Toby Spence has all the advantages of an English tenor, but avoids the usual drawback: his tenor has heft and color enough for the more outspoken passages. It was a spirited, musicianly performance. Daniel Schmutzhard sang with great sensitivity and firmness of tone, but his voice lacks depth in both ends of his range and may stray from true pitch when things get too low or too high.


Read Full Post »