16 de Abril, 2009
The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written between 1796 and 1798 by Joseph Haydn (H. 21/2), and considered by many to be his masterpiece. The oratorio depicts and celebrates The Creation of the world as described in the biblical Book of Genesis.
Haydn was inspired to write a large oratorio during his visits to England in 1791-1792 and 1794-1795, when he heard oratorios of Handel performed by large forces. Israel in Egypt is believed to have been one of these. It is likely that Haydn wanted to try to achieve results of comparable weight, using the musical language of the mature classical style.
The work on the oratorio lasted from October 1796 to April 1798. It was also a profound act of faith for this deeply religious man, who appended the words "Praise to God" at the end of every completed composition. He later remarked, "I was never so devout as when I was at work on The Creation; I fell on my knees each day and begged God to give me the strength to finish the work." Haydn composed much of the work while at his residence in the Mariahilf suburb of Vienna, which is now the Haydnhaus
Haydn's original autograph score has been lost since 1803. A Viennese published score dated 1800 forms the basis of most performances today. The 'most authentic' Tonkünstler-Societat score of 1799, with notes in the composer's hand, can be found at the Vienna State Library. There are various other copyist scores such as the Estate, as well as hybrid editions prepared by scholars during the last two centuries.
The Creation is written in three parts, whose musical numbers are given below. As in other oratorios, the larger musical numbers (arias and choruses) are often prefaced with a brief recitative; here, the recitative gives the actual words of Genesis, while the following number elaborates the bare Biblical narrative in verse.
Part I celebrates The Creation of the primal light, the Earth, the heavenly bodies, bodies of water, weather, and plant life.
Prelude. Die Vorstellung des Chaos (The Representation of Chaos)
No. 1. Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde (In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth)
No. 2. Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle (Now vanished by the holy beams)
End of the first day.
No. 3. Und Gott machte das Firmament (And God made the firmament)
No. 4. Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk (The marv'lous work beholds amazed/The glorious hierarchy of heav'n)
End of the second day.
No. 5. Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser (And God said let the waters)
No. 6. Rollend in schaumenden Wellen (Rolling in foaming billows)
No. 7. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor (And God said, Let all the earth bring forth grass)
No. 8. Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün (Now robed in cool refreshing green)
No. 9. Und die himmlischen Heerscharen erkündigten (And the Heavenly host proclaimed the third day)
No. 10. Stimmt an die Saiten (Awake the harp)
End of the third day.
No. 11. Und Gott sprach: Es sei'n Lichter an der Feste des Himmels (And God said : Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven)
No. 12. In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne (In splendour bright is rising now/the sun)
No. 13. Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (The heavens are telling the glory of God)
End of the fourth day.
Part II celebrates The Creation of sea creatures, birds, animals, and lastly, man.
No. 14. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser in der Fülle hervor (And God said : Let the waters bring forth in plenty)
No. 15. Auf starkem Fittige schwinget sich der Adler stolz (On mighty wings the eagle proudly soars aloft)
No. 16. Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische (And God created great whales.)
No. 17. Und die Engel rührten ihr' unsterblichen Harfen (And the angels struck their immortal harps.)
No. 18. In holder Anmut stehn (In fairest raiment)
No. 19. Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht (The Lord is great in his might)
End of the fifth day
No. 20. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor lebende Geschöpfe (And God said : Let earth bring forth the living creature)
No. 21. Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoß (At once Earth opens her womb)
No. 22. Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel (Now shines heaven in the brightest glory)
No. 23. Und Gott schuf den Menschen (And God created Man)
No. 24. Mit Würd' und Hoheit angetan (In native worth and honor clad)
No. 25. Und Gott sah jedes Ding (And God saw every thing)
No. 26. Vollendet ist das grosse Werk (The great work is complete)
No. 27. Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf (All look up to thee, O Lord)
No. 28. Vollendet ist das große Werk (Fulfilled at last the great work)
Part III takes place in the Garden of Eden, and narrates the happy first hours of Adam and Eve.
No. 29. Aus Rosenwolken bricht (In rosy mantle appears)
No. 30. Von deiner Güt, o Herr und Gott (By thy goodness, O bounteous Lord)
No. 31. Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt (Our first duty we have now performed)
No. 32. Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite (Sweet companion, at thy side)
No. 33. O glücklich Paar, und glücklich immerfort (O happy pair, and ever happy henceforth)
No. 34. Singt dem Herren alle Stimmen! (Sing the Lord, ye voices all)
|E(rnst) T(heodor) A(madeus) Wilhelm Hoffmann (1776-1822)|