Haydn: Philemon und Baucis, Marionette Opera in One Act with Prologue. Libretto after Philip Georg Bader and Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel, text version by Hermann Beil.
The present recording is based on a later version which included orchestral intermezzos by other composers, in accordance with the standard practice of the time. The opera (or rather Singspiel, with spoken dialogue) takes one of Ovid's Metamorphoses as its point of departure, and tells the story of how Jupiter and Mercury visit earth, and are shocked by 'the horrors and vices' of mankind. It is only the virtue and hospitality displayed by the aged couple Philemon and Baucis that save the world from divine punishment.
Soloists: Philemon: Christoph Genz, tenor; Baucis: Maren Engelhardt, mezzo-soprano; Aret: Jan Petryka, tenor; Narcissa: Alexandra Reinprecht, soprano. Actors: Jupiter: Frank Hoffmann; Merkur: Hermann Beil. Choir: Vocalforum Graz.
Classics Today: outstanding: 'This vividly recorded release gives the fullest picture of this genuinely moving work'.