MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806): Andromeda und Perseus.
Catalogue Number: 06I034
Label: Oehms Classics
Reference: OC 911
Description: Archbishop Colloredo decided he needed an antique opera seria to celebrate his 15th anniversary in Salzburg in 1787 and, not wanting to spend any money, he corralled his court organist - Haydn, and his court chaplain (who had written the libretti for Mozart's Idomeneo and L'Oca del Cairo). Haydn's wife (past her best) sang Andromeda and a 35-year-old male soprano (for whom the soprano part in Mozart's Coronation mass was written) did Perseus. So we have what at the time would have seemed an old-fashioned opera seria sung by two circumscribed voices. Thus, Perseus' music rarely goes beyond what one would find in a sacred work of the period although Andromeda gets more sophisticated stuff. The star, though, is Haydn's brilliant symphonic music - especially when the monster is slain by Perseus but throughout providing the professionalism and taste which the skinflint archbishop would never himself know. 2 CDs. German-English libretto. Heike Porstein, Christine Wolff (sopranos), Max Ciolek (tenor), Raimund Nolte (bass), Gunter Cremer (narrator), Vokal Ensemble Köln, Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Reinhard Goebel.