Boston Baroque, North America’s first permanent Baroque orchestra, enters a dynamic new recording era with its debut release for European audiophile label Linn Records: Franz Joseph Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation (Die Schöpfung).
“Haydn’s Creation is a work that Boston Baroque has wanted to record for some time, and we are excited to begin our collaboration with Linn Records with this fantastic piece,” says Martin Pearlman, Music Director of Boston Baroque. “The timing of this release is perfect. Not only is Linn now increasing its distribution in the American market, but its European base gives Boston Baroque a greater presence in the international market.”
Linn Records Producer Philip Hobbs says, “I am delighted that the first fruit of the new collaboration between Boston Baroque and Linn Records is this wonderful, invigorating recording of Haydn’s Creation. Martin Pearlman’s insightful direction shows this great masterpiece in its brightest colors, with a fantastic orchestra and chorus and a truly stellar line-up of soloists. This album will be a jewel in the Linn Records catalogue for years to come and will, I hope, be the first of many.”
From its first performance in Vienna in April 1798, The Creation caused an unprecedented sensation throughout Europe.
It was seen as the crowning achievement of the greatest living composer, and box office receipts for the premiere broke all records.
Among its many extraordinary moments are the opening, depicting the chaos which preceded creation – arguably the most modern music written up to that time; the enormously effective and popular musical depictions of animals, the sunrise and other effects; and the famous moment when light is created out of darkness with a sudden, fully orchestrated C Major chord.
The Boston Baroque Creation has been recorded as a multi-channel hybrid SACD, playable on any standard compact disc player.
The two-disc set includes a 32-page booklet containing the libretto in German and English, with notes on the work and the recording by Martin Pearlman.
North American distribution for Linn Records is by Naxos of America, Inc. Pre-orders for The Creation are currently being accepted by Amazon.com in advance of the North American commercial release date of August 28, 2012.
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Boston Baroque is the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and is widely regarded as being among the world’s leading period-instrument ensembles.
Founded in 1973 as Banchetto Musicale by Music Director Martin Pearlman, the Boston Baroque orchestra is made up of some of the finest period-instrument players in the U.S.; they are frequently joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and by instrumental and vocal soloists from around the world.
The ensemble presents an annual subscription series of five programs, performed at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall or Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, plus occasional additional concerts at other venues.
Boston Baroque’s many career milestones include the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre; a Mozart opera series including Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte, and the American period-instrument premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute; and the Beethoven symphonies. In 1998–99, the ensemble gave the modern premiere of The Philosopher’s Stone, a singspiel newly discovered to include music by Mozart and to shed fresh light on his canon.
In recent years, Boston Baroque has presented a cycle of the surviving operas of Monteverdi, which included new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse by Martin Pearlman; an internationally praised series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Xerxes, Giulio Cesare, Semele and Amadigi di Gaula; and, most recently, an acclaimed account of Rameau’s opera Les Indes galantes.
Boston Baroque was the first period-instrument ensemble invited to participate at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, presenting two acclaimed programs in 2009.
In March 2010, the ensemble performed Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 to a sold-out crowd and standing ovation in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The ensemble made its European debut in 2003, performing Handel’s Messiah to capacity crowds in Krakow and Warsaw, Poland, and toured the Vespers to Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and Tanglewood in 2004.
Boston Baroque reaches an audience of millions around the globe with more than 20 critically-acclaimed recordings, three of which have been recognized with Grammy® nominations: Handel’s Messiah (1992); Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 (1998); and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (2000). With this recording of Haydn’s Creation, Boston Baroque begins a new recording relationship with the European audiophile label Linn Records, named by Gramophone as Label of the Year in 2010.
Boston Baroque is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Martin Pearlman, founder and Music Director of Boston Baroque, is a conductor, harpsichordist, composer and early-music specialist, and is one of America’s leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on both period and modern instruments. Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse; the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre; Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste; a survey of Beethoven symphonies on period instruments; major Handel operas including Alcina, Agrippina, Semele and Xerxes; and a Mozart opera series including The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte and the North American period instrument premieres of Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute.
Mr. Pearlman made his Kennedy Center debut with The Washington Opera in Handel’s Semele, and has guest conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and New World Symphony.
He is the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally televised Grammy® Awards show.
Recent compositions by Mr. Pearlman include The Creation According to Orpheus for solo piano, harp, percussion and string orchestra; a work based on James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake; and music for three plays of Samuel Beckett, commissioned by and premiered at New York’s 92nd Street Y. Writing in the Boston Globe, Anthony Tommasini said, “If fans of Boston Baroque wonder why Pearlman’s conducting is so insightful, it’s because he knows, as only a composer can, how music goes.”
Mr. Pearlman is Professor of Music in Historical Performance at the Boston University School of Music.
Soprano Amanda Forsythe, praised by Opera News for her “light and luster” and “wonderful agility and silvery top notes,” made her European debut in 2007, singing Corinna in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. She was engaged at Grand Théâtre de Genève as Dalinda in Ariodante, reprised at Bayerische Staatsoper. She returned to Pesaro in Rossini’s L’Equivoco Stravagante, and performed in concert with Joyce DiDonato in duets from Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
Her recent engagements include debuts with Calgary Philharmonic (Golijov’s Ainadamar), L’Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico, and Gran Teatro La Fenice; L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, ed il Moderato with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Le Nozze di Figaro (Barbarina) at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Xerxes (Atalanta) with Boston Baroque, Blow’s Venus and Adonis (Venus) and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Drusilla) with Boston Early Music Festival; and Messiah with Boston Baroque, Baltimore Symphony and Apollo’s Fire.
She co-starred with Ewa Podleś at Opera Boston in Tancredi, debuted with Ulster Orchestra in Alexander’s Feast, returned to Hartford Symphony for Brahms’ Requiem and made her Covent Garden debut in 2010 as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She performed Manto in Steffani’s Niobe at Covent Garden and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, and made her debut with Opera d’Angers-Nantes as Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff; returned to Boston Early Music Festival for the title role in Niobe, and to Boston Baroque for Rameau’s Les Indes galantes.
She recently returned to Pesaro in Rossini’s La Scala di Seta and Covent Garden for Nannetta in Falstaff and sings Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in her debut at Vlaamse Opera in 2012/13.
Tenor Keith Jameson has been heard at major opera houses in the U.S., including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera and Santa Fe Opera. His most recent engagements include Flute in Midsummer Night’s Dream at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boris Godunov at Dallas Opera and with the New York Philharmonic in Cunning Little Vixen.
Other recent engagements include the Metropolitan Opera in Gianni Schicchi and in Carmen (broadcast worldwide as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s ‘LIVE! in HD’ series); Le nozze di Figaro and I Pagliacci at Chicago Lyric; L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Los Angeles Opera; and Le nozze di Figaro at Dallas Opera. His many appearances with Santa Fe Opera include La Traviata, Billy Budd, Madama Butterfly and Lewis Spratlan’s Life Is a Dream. He made his Met debut in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, and sang Turandot at Atlanta Opera and The Turn of the Screw with L’Opera Royal de Wallonie. Mr. Jameson sang Vašek in The Bartered Bride with Opera Boston, and Messiah with the Winston-Salem Symphony, and in return engagements with Boston Baroque. He made his U.K. debut with English National Opera as Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, and his long relationship with New York City Opera includes that role as well as Turandot, the title role in Candide, Alcina, Tobias in Sweeney Todd and Flavio.
Recent engagements include Eugene Onegin and Franz Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten at the Los Angeles Opera, Madama Butterfly with Arizona Opera and a return to the Met as The Novice in Billy Budd.
Kevin Deas has gained international acclaim as one of America’s leading basses. Lauded by the Chicago Tribune for his “burnished sound, clarity of diction and sincerity of expression” and “fervent intensity,” he is acclaimed for his portrayal of the title role in Porgy and Bess, having sung it with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco, Atlanta, San Diego, Utah, Houston, Baltimore and Montreal symphonies and Ravinia and Saratoga festivals. Recent highlights include St. John Passion at Winter Park Festival; Glass’ Passion of Ramakrishna with Pacific Symphony; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Richmond Symphony, National Symphony of Costa Rica, Baltimore Symphony, and Tokyo Symphony.
His Messiah performances include Minnesota Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, National Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony and Boston Baroque. Recent credits include Missa Solemnis at Berkshire Choral Festival, Brahms’ Requiem with Hartford Symphony, New York Philharmonic in L’enfant et les sortilèges, the world premiere of Bermel’s The Good Life with Pittsburgh Symphony, and in Hannibal Lokumbe’s Dear Mrs. Parks with Detroit Symphony.
Other recent highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth with Filarmonica della Scala in Accra celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ghana, and Copland’s Old American Songs, Le nozze di Figaro and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with Chicago Symphony. He sang at Italy’s Spoleto Festival in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors for the composer’s eighty-fifth birthday, videotaped for worldwide release.
His 20-year collaboration with Dave Brubeck has taken him to Salzburg, Vienna and Moscow in To Hope! and in Gates of Justice.
Linn Records: Independent Pioneer Since 1982
Linn Records is home to many exceptional artists ranging from the finest Baroque players to highly respected jazz vocalists and cutting-edge electronica musicians.
The result is a catalogue brimming with quality and diversity.
The label was launched in 1982 with groundbreaking recordings by The Blue Nile and Carol Kidd.
Linn Records’ love for music and passion for quality has led the label to be recognized as one of the world’s leading audiophile labels.
Linn Records was the first label to offer Studio Master downloads DRM-free. 30 years on, Linn Records offers a library of over 400 Studio Master quality albums from 31 different labels, with Studio Masters accounting for over 90% of all purchases.
Thousands of customers have already downloaded Studio Masters from Linn Records, demonstrating the demand for high quality music at home.
This appetite for producing music exactly the way the artist intended it to sound saw Linn Records named as Gramophone’s “Label of the Year” in 2010.
Boston Baroque gratefully acknowledges the following contributors, whose generous support helped to make this recording possible:
The Calderwood Charitable Foundation: Norma Jean Calderwood Recording Series Mortimer Charitable Lead Trust
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