American Record Guide
, January 2010
This is a concert (May 31, 2009) in the Haydn Hall of Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death. As might be expected, it is a great performance—but just how good it is is gradually growing on me. Adam Fischer is widely recognized as a good Haydn conductor. Here he looks very happy and pleased with the performance, and his enthusiasm is infectious. It clearly spreads to the orchestra and especially to the chorus. His tempos are light and very flexible, giving this performance extra feeling. The size of the orchestra is perfect for this work, and the recording is superb.
The soloists are the finest I have heard in the eight recordings I have of the Creation. Thomas Quasthoff is particularly outstanding. I’ll admit that I was a bit shocked when I first saw him; I wasn’t aware that he had been born to a mother who took thalidomide during her pregnancy. Despite his small, deformed stature his voice is amazing. The other two soloists are also very good.
This is in wide-screen format and also has subtitles in German and English. Be warned though that the English translation is awkward.
There is at least one other DVD edition on ArtHaus, recorded in narrow screen in 1992 in Lucerne. The three soloists are also very good, but Peter Schreier is less desirable as a conductor. It has no subtitles.
When one comes to the end of the Fischer performance, one has the feeling that one’s spirits have really been lifted—as though you have heard, and seen, the Creation for the first time.