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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded in Cologne in July 2003 by German Radio, the Naxos issue offers another first-rate period performance of Haydn’s masterpiece, lively and very well sung. When other issues of Die Schöpfung in the super-bargain category use modern instruments, it fills an important gap, particularly when the digital sound is so clear and transparent. The opening prelude representing Chaos is taken very slowly, but that brings out all the more the abrasiveness of Haydn’s daring dissonances on the period strings of the Capella Augustina. After the extreme hush of that opening, the choral cry of Licht!, Licht!, is then shattering in its impact. Generally, Spering’s speeds are on the fast side, yet with no feeling of rush. The chorus, the Cologne Vocal Ensemble, is a relatively compact body, incisive in its attack; it is set in a helpful but not over-large acoustic, but it has ample power for the dramatic moments. The three soloists too are all excellent and youthful-sounding. The Korean, Sunhae Im, has a sweet, bright soprano that she uses with style and extreme flexibility; the German tenor, Jan Kobow, has a clean-cut, well-focused voice, a touch baritonal in timbre but with no strain in the upper register; while Hanno Müller-Brachmann, also German, sings with similarly clean attack and the fine focus. An outstanding bargain.

Rick Phillips
La Scena Musicale, November 2005

If you’re looking for a good, period-instrument version of The Creation,the great oratorio by Haydn, at budget price, look no further. This new one fromm Naxos, of the german version, Die Schopfung, is youthful, fresh and energetic, nicely capturing the wide-eyed innocence, mystery and awe of the work. The soloists are all strong. I especially liked the young Korean-born soprano Sunhae Im. Her voice is bright and agile – perfectly suited to the work. The choir and orchestra are scaled down, but alert and responsive. If you think you might miss out on some of the grandeur of TheCreation with a period-instrument ensemble andthe historically informed approach, don’t worry – the faster tempos and energy of this performance more than make up for the smaller forces. And the recording has a nice bloom to the sound, in keeping with the approach and size of the performing ensemble.

Fanfare, September 2005

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Jan Arell
Göteborgs-Posten, June 2005

"Heavenly Bargain

Haydn’s finest work, the magnificent oratorio, which depicts the creation itself, with texts from Genesis and Paradise Lost by the English poet John Milton. Revolutionary music in its time (1789). Not quite as good singers or as majestic choruses as in Karajan’s best recording (Originals), but why complain? Stunning music, a splendid lightness and airiness in the orchestral playing with authentic instruments adding extra pungency - all of this in excellent sound. A heavenly bargain."

Opera News, April 2005

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4:45:29 PM, 28 May 2016
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