The music Haydn wrote for his creation story is grandiose, sophisticated and jubilant. From the very first measure, Haydn grabs the listener by the scruff. With a timpani roll, he depicts the total chaos in which the creation begins, the unexpected opening C minor chord is like a divine entry.

Haydn was deeply affected, during a Handel Commemoration, by Messiah. That experience was crucial when he came to write choral music in Vienna. He took a text based on the Bible and Milton’s Paradise Lost, with help by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who made a German version that deeply moved Haydn.

So The Creation (Die Schöpfung) came to be. The première was a success, and the oratorio began its march through Europe. The work ends with the choir singing Des Herren Ruhm, er bleibt in Ewigkeit: a dramatic view of the creation, which Haydn depicts in three parts: the elements, the animals and human beings, and earthly paradise. The Fall into sin gets only an aside in his work – typical of Haydn.


∙ 19:15 Koen Uvin (NL)
∙ 20:00 keynote: Joanna Wojtkowiak, season's thinker
∙ 20:00 concert (with break)


read the explanatory notes to this programme

Joseph Haydn
Die Schöpfung, Hob.XXI:2 (1798)

Ilse Eerens soprano
Allan Clayton tenor
Dietrich Henschel bass-baritone

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