Petersen, Güra, Henschel, René Jacobs, Haydn: Die Jahreszeiten

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A recording of

This glorious recording swept through the Gramophone Awards to triumph as the Choral winner two years ago. Haydn's "Seasons" remains one of his most delightful and humane works — a rustic celebration of country life by a man who was something of a countryman at heart (apparently he was quite a keen huntsman). René Jacobs conducts with a buoyancy and spring in the step that can't fail but have you smiling, even laughing outright. His trio of soloists is excellent: Marlis Petersen light, lyrical and full of character, Werner Güra bringing a Lieder singer's detail and feel for colour, and Dietrich Henschel proving, once again, what a superb singing actor he is. And providing that constant commentary of imaginative orchestral work, is the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra — one of the most accomplished of Europe's period ensembles. Add to that the singing of the wonderful RIAS Chamber Choir and you've a recording of "The Seasons" second to none.