Hans Michael Beuerle / Hans Peter Blochwitz / Maya Boog / Peter Lika

Joseph Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten

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There should always be more performances of Franz Joseph Haydn's monumental oratorio The Seasons, or, auf Deutsch, Die Jahreszeiten. The work is too important, too magnificent, too moving, and too vital to languish merely as a museum piece. However, while there should always be more performances of The Seasons, that does not mean they should all be recorded and preserved for the ages. Take, for example, this recording led by Hans Michael Beuerle and released on Ars Musici. While it is clearly a labor of love for all involved, and was likely quite effective when experienced live, it is not much more than mediocre compared with the great recorded performances of the past. Beuerle knows what he is doing and there is nothing overtly wrong with his conducting, but his interpretation is no more than makeshift, with plenty of tone painting but not much overall architecture. Similarly, the Freiburger Bachchor and Bachorchester are each accomplished -- the former has a solid sound and fine diction, while the latter has a rough and ready ensemble plus a pungent tone -- but neither can compare with their better known competitors. While the soloists are adept, only tenor Hans Peter Blochwitz can stand with the finest exponents of his part. Recorded in passable but not especially impressive digital sound, this disc might please those who heard the performance live, but will not likely please others.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Die Jahreszeiten, Hob. 31:3
1 5:58
2 3:30
3 0:36
4 3:35
5 0:34
6 5:17
7 1:06
8 5:01
9 4:57
10 4:16
11 3:01
12 4:29
13 0:40
14 1:16
15 4:10
16 4:06
17 4:22
18 2:45
19 3:45
20 4:15

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Die Jahreszeiten, Hob. 31:3
1 1:49
2 0:37
3 5:45
4 1:07
5 7:48
6 0:57
7 3:16
8 0:38
9 4:23
10 1:03
11 6:20
12 2:53
13 2:40
14 2:12
15 2:07
16 3:57
17 1:12
18 2:45
19 0:25
20 3:22
21 0:49
22 4:11
23 0:22
24 5:39
blue highlight denotes track pick