Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day!! ... The Creation, The Seasons, And The Return Of Tobias

Last night, we enjoyed Helmuth Rilling conducting Haydn’s 1798 The Creation with the National Symphony Orchestra, three excellent soloists, and the enthusiastic University of Maryland Concert Choir. Rilling was the star.

I was fascinated that it was the first NSO performance of the work since John Nelson led an NSO performance at Wolf Trap in the summer of 1979 (before the fire, I assume).

I was even more fascinated that Antal Dorati, the highly distinguished past music director of the NSO, conducted the work twice with the NSO – in 1971 and again in 1975 or 1976.

In 1975 or 1976, Antal Dorati apparently programmed in Washington, D.C. a mini-festival of Haydn oratorios featuring The Creation, The Seasons, and Haydn’s rarely heard Il ritorno di Tobia (The Return of Tobias), Hob.XXI:1. There was also an associated international Haydn musicological conference.

I’d like to hear and study that oratorio, and I plan to do so.

(c) Daniel Reed - With thanks.


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