In honour of Haydn's bicentenary CPO are delighted to present a rarely recorded work; Haydn's two act singspiel Die Feuersbrunst oder das abgebrannte Haus (The Conflagration or The Burned House).
The celebratory cantata Applausus (1768) was commissioned in honour of the abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Zwettl; because Haydn was unable to be present, he accompanied the work with a long and informative letter on performing practice.
Although The Creation is no stranger to period-instrument performance, two in particular spring to mind as particularly outstanding. The first of these is Christopher Hogwood's on L'Oiseau-Lyre, which is in English and remains the only version to assemble the huge forces for which Haydn actually wrote, with singularly thrilling results. Second, there is Hengelbrock on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, who demonstrated that at least on recordings the music can sound just as big and colorful, but without extensive doubling of instrumental parts. In his version of The Seasons, René Jacobs accomplished a similar feat, and so does this newcomer, even outdoing Hengelbrock in wringing every last drop of color from Haydn's perennially fresh orchestration. All of the other period performances, including Brüggen, Weil, Harnoncourt (twice), Kuijken, and Gardener, stand at some remove from these three.