«I wanted the rehabilitate this masterpiece!»

Paul McCreesh talks about «his» new interpretation of Haydn’s «The Seasons» – his translation, the challenges translating 18th century German… finally he tells us why his version is particularly true to Haydn.

Paul McCreesh

Artist Description

Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort & Players embody the best «authentic» interpretation of old music. And yet, during our conversation on occasion of his performance of Haydn's «The Seasons» at the church of Saanen, he confessed that he found such labels rather debatable. «To be honest with you, I never saw myself as a specialist for certain kind of music.» McCreesh compared himself with a free electron, moving, without being held back, from one style to another. «Some critiques would say that this attitude equals professional suicide. I, however, am all for an intuitive approach to music. Love is always more important than intellect; I'd rather leave this field to the great musicologists and their research. To me there are only two kinds of music: Good music and bad music.»

More than just a conductor: He re-invents music

When studying Paul McCreesh's discography (most of it is released by Deutsche Grammophon while he recently started his own label «Winged Lion») and following his many tours all around the world, you will find that there is hardly any «bad» music. We fondly remember his concerts at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival: Mozart's Requiem in 2016, Handel's Messiah in 2017, Haydn's The Seasons in 2018 - all of them were outstanding performances. And they all had a very personal note that turned an ordinary interpretation into a unique masterpiece. Let's remember how McCreesh, by re-writing the English text of Haydn's The Seasons, re-created this fantastic masterpiece in order to rehabilitating it for the English speaking world. (Baron van Swieten had translated the German libretto into a rather clumsy English for Haydn.) «Whilst a composer would start off from the libretto to write music, I had to take the opposite path; I let the music guide me to find the right words. I wanted the singers to enjoy themselves whilst singing! »
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