reviewed by Paula Citron
Composed by Joseph Haydn
Conducted by Bruno Weil
Starring Nancy Argenta, Jan Kobow, Locky Chung, Tafelmusik Orchestra and Chamber Choir
At Massey Hall
The year 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death, and Tafelmusik celebrated the event with a performance of The Creation at Massey Hall.
The conductor was the legendary Bruno Weil and he ensured that classical performance practice was observed. The orchestra was raised behind the choir and soloists. The playing was orderly and precise, the orchestral tone poems with their sound effects were highlighted, and musical climaxes were noted. The result was a clean, cold and clinical reading that was pleasant to the ear, well played and well sung, but unemotional in the extreme. Weil kept a tight classical rein on everything.
Soprano Nancy Argenta has had a very distinguished career, but is beginning to lose lustre from her voice. Nevertheless, Argenta, tenor Jan Kobow and baritone Locky Chung brought expertise to the solo roles. Kobow in particular, is one to watch, with his easy light lyric voice, and Chung has an amazing lower register for a light fach. The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir was exquisite.