Wonderful is this composition of a Haydn who gets the first glimpse of romanticism. Wonderful in its alternation of short and varied arias, duets and trios. Sophie Karthäuser, and Maximilian Schmitt don’t have particularly voluminous voices, but all soloists including the baritone Johannes Weisser sing gracefully and with style. The orchestra B’Rock is wonderful. Sometimes they seem a 4th singing voice, from the delicate cello accompaniment to the twirling woodwinds. René Jacobs chooses to underline dynamic contrasts, and the orchestra follows him in an onomatopoeic explosion of colours underlining the libretto from forceful vigour over poetic lyricism to languid peacefulness.
The choir, the Collegium Vocale Gent, deserves only the fullest appreciation, all pages reach the highest inspiration thanks to the dazzling richness of the interpretation. The final florid passages, given to the chorus rather than the soloists, are excellent. A breathtaking performance.
director-René Jacobs, Sopran-Sophie Karthäuser, Tenor-Maximilian Schmitt, Bariton-Johannes Weisser, B’Rock, Collegium Vocale Gent