''The Creation'' structure
|Oratorio by Joseph Haydn|
|Native name||Die Schöpfung|
|Text||Gottfried van Swieten|
|Movements||34 (in three parts)|
|Scoring||Soprano, tenor and bass soloists, chorus and orchestra|
The Creation, the oratorio by Joseph Haydn, is structured in three parts. He composed it in 1796–1798 on German text as Die Schöpfung. The work is set for soloists, chorus and orchestra. Its movements are listed in tables for their form, voice, key, tempo marking, time signature and source.
The origin of the libretto is not known. Haydn received the booklet in English in London on his second extended stay in 1795 from his impresario Johann Peter Salomon. According to Haydn, it was passed by a certain Lidley, or perhaps Thomas Linley, and was attributed to him, but may be written by an unknown author. Back in Vienna, Haydn passed it to his friend and sponsor Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who translated and organized it.
The sources for the libretto are the two Creation narratives from the Book of Genesis, some Psalms, and John Milton's Paradise Lost, an epic poem in ten volumes, first published in 1667. The libretto is structured in three parts, the first dealing with the Creation of the universe and the plants, the second with the Creation of the animals, and of man and woman, and the third with Adam and Eve in Paradise, showing an idealized love in harmony with the "new world".
Haydn had composed symphonies, operas, string quartets and more chamber music for the court at Eszterháza. For the oratorio he used the vocal means of contemporary opera, recitative, aria, ensemble and chorus. The orchestra plays a decisive role in structure and tone painting.
The oratorio has five solo roles, in Part I and II the three archangels Gabriel (soprano), Uriel (tenor) and Raphael (bass), in Part III Adam (bass) and Eve (soprano). The final movement needs an additional alto soloist. The chorus is in four parts, SATB. Haydn used three soloists, some conductors prefer different soloists for Adam and Eve.
Haydn set most of the narration from the Genesis in secco recitative. The rendering of the words is simple, different for example from Bach's approach in the parts of the Evangelist in his Passions. Haydn exceptions are the two recitatives opening Part I and II, which are accompanied by the orchestra. For each day, the recitative is followed by a contemplation of it, typically in accompanied recitative and aria, and affirmed by a choral movement.
As Bach in his Christmas Oratorio and Handel in Messiah, Haydn saves the soprano voice for a late appearance. Whereas Bach and Handel reserve the high voice for the Annunciation to the shepherds, Haydn has Gabriel be the first to proclaim the wonder of the Wunderwerk (miraculous work).
Differently from Handel, who keeps solo and choral singing mostly separate in his operas and oratorios, Haydn strives for an interaction of solo and chorus, as in his late Masses and contemporary opera. In the conclusion of Part I, Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (The heavens are telling the glory of God), which covers the first two verses of Psalm 19, the second verse, "To day that is coming speaks it the day ...", is given to the soloists, who sing to each other. This trio section is repeated, leading to a choral repetition of verse 1, the second time a bit faster (Più allegro) and concluded by an elaborate fugue, crafted on its second part, "and the firmament sheweth his handywork". In Vollendet ist das große Werk, the chorus frames a slow trio section by two different fast movements. In Von deiner Güt, o Herr und Gott (By thy goodness, O bounteous Lord), the soloists sing a duet, accompanied by triplets, while the choir with the timpani sings simultaneously, as a soft foundation in even rhythm speaking of eternity, Gesegnet sei des Herren Macht (Forever blessed be his pow'r).
The orchestra plays a distinct role in word painting. For example, flute and clarinet imitate the singing of the birds, trombones and contrabassoon articulate the roaring of the lion. When God speaks in person, "Seid fruchtbar" (be fruitful), the bass voice is accompanied by the low strings only. The solemn sound is reminiscent of the string quartet accompanying the Vox Christi (voice of Christ) in Bach's St Matthew Passion. The cellos have the melody speaking of human love, three flutes illustrate Paradise.
Richard Wigmore summarizes: "In our own sceptical and precarious age we can still delight, perhaps with a touch of nostalgia, in Haydn’s unsullied optimism, expressed in some of the most lovable and life-affirming music ever composed."
The following tables are organized by a number and first line of the movements. Different numbering of the movement exists. The voices are sometimes abbreviated S for soprano, T for tenor, B for bass. The modulating keys of many recitatives are written in accidentals. Recitatives typically come without a tempo marking. If no source is given, the text is derived from Paradise Lost. The book of Genesis is abbreviated "Gen", the Book of Psalms "Ps". The English translations are taken from the edition of the Oxford University Press, 1991.
|Die Vorstellung des Chaos||C minor||Largo||The Representation of Chaos|
|1||Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde||Recitative||Bass||C minor||Gen 1:1–2||In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth|
|Und der Geist Gottes schwebte||Chorus||Gen 1:2–3||And the Spirit of God moved|
|Und Gott sah das Licht||Recitative||Tenor||C major||Gen 1:4||And God saw the light|
|2||Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle||Aria||Tenor||A major||Andante||Now vanished by the holy beams|
|Erstarrt entflieht der Höllengeister Schar||Allegro moderato||Affrighted fled hell's spirits|
|Verzweiflung, Wut und Schrecken||Chorus, fugue||Desparing, cursing rage|
|3||Und Gott machte das Firmament||Recitative secco||Bass||Gen 1:6–7||And God made the firmament|
|4||Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk||Solo with chorus||Soprano||C major||Allegro moderato||The marv'lous work beholds amazed|
|5||Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser||Recitative secco||Bass||Gen 1:9–10||And God said let the waters|
|6||Rollend in schäumenden Wellen||Aria||Bass||D minor||Allegro assai||Rolling in foaming billows|
|7||Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor||Recitative secco||Soprano||Gen 1:11||And God said, Let all the earth bring forth grass|
|8||Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün||Aria||Soprano||B-flat major||Andante||6/8||Now robed in cool refreshing green|
|9||Und die himmlischen Heerscharen verkündigten den dritten Tag'||Recitative secco||Tenor||And the Heavenly host proclaimed the third day|
|10||Stimmt an die Saiten||Chorus||D major||Vivace||Awake the harp|
|11||Und Gott sprach: Es sei'n Lichter an der Feste des Himmels||Recitative secco||Tenor||Gen 1:14–16||And God said : Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven|
|12||In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne strahlend auf||Recitative||Tenor||D major||Andante||In splendour bright is rising now the sun|
|Mit leisem Gang und sanftem Schimmer||Piú Adagio||With softer beams and milder light|
|Den ausgedehnten Himmelsraum||Piú Adagio||The space immense of th'azure sky|
|13||Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes||Chorus||C major||Allegro||Ps 19:1||The heavens are telling the glory of God|
|Dem kommenden Tage sagt es der Tag||Trio||S B T||Ps 19:2||To day that is coming speaks it the day|
|Die Himmel erzählen ...||Chorus||The heavens are telling ...|
|Dem kommenden Tage ...||Trio||S B T||To day that is coming ...|
|Die Himmel erzählen ...||Chorus||Più allegro||The heavens are telling ...|
|Und seiner Hände Werk||Chorus, fugue||Ps 19:1||The wonder of his works||second part of Ps 19:1|
|14||Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser in der Fülle hervor||Recitative||Soprano||Allegro||Gen 1:20||And God said : Let the waters bring forth in plenty|
|15||Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich der Adler stolz||Aria||Soprano||F major||Moderato||On mighty wings the eagle proudly soars aloft|
|16||Und Gott schuf große Walfische||Recitative secco||Bass||Gen 1:21–22||And God created great whales|
|Seid fruchtbar alle||Recitative||Poco Adagio||Be fruitful all|
|17||Und die Engel rührten ihr' unsterblichen Harfen||Recitative secco||Bass||And the angels struck their immortal harps|
|18||In holder Anmut stehn||Trio||S T B||A major||Moderato||2/4||In fairest raiment|
|19||Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht||Trio and chorus||S T B||Vivace||The Lord is great in his might|
|20||Es bringe die Erde hervor lebende Geschöpfe||Recitative secco||Bass||Gen 1:24||And God said : Let earth bring forth the living creature|
|20||Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoß||Recitative||Bass||Presto||At once Earth opens her womb|
|Das zackig Haupt||Presto||6/8||The nimble stag|
|Auf grünen Matten||Andante||6/8||The cattle in herds|
|Wie Staub verbreitet sich||Andante||Unnumbered as the sands|
|In langen Zügen||Adagio||In long dimensions|
|21||Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel||Aria||Bass||D major||Allegro maestoso||3/4||Now shines heaven in the brightest glory|
|22||Und Gott schuf den Menschen||Recitative secco||Tenor||Gen 1:27, Gen 2:7||And God created Man|
|23||Mit Würd' und Hoheit angetan||Aria||Tenor||C major||Andante||In native worth and honor clad|
|24||Und Gott sah jedes Ding||Recitative secco||Bass||Gen 1:31||And God saw every thing|
|26||Vollendet ist das große Werk||Chorus||B-flat major||Vivace||Fulfilled at last the great work|
|27||Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf||Trio||S T B||E-flat major||Poco Adagio||3/4||Ps 145:15–16||All look up to thee, O Lord|
|28||Vollendet ist das große Werk||Chorus||B-flat major||Vivace||Fulfilled at last the great work|
|Alles lobe seinen Namen||Chorus, fugue||Ps 148:13||Glory to his name forever|
|29||Aus Rosenwolken bricht||Recitative||Tenor||E major||Largo||3/4||In rosy mantle appears|
|30||Von deiner Güt, o Herr und Gott / Gesegnet sei des Herren Macht||Duet with chorus||S B||C major||Adagio||By thy goodness, O bounteous Lord / Forever blessed be his Pow'r|
|Der Sterne hellster / Macht kund auf eurer weiten Bahn||Duet with chorus||S B||F major||Allegretto||2/4||Of stars the fairest / Proclaim in your extended course|
|Heil dir, o Gott!||chorus||Hail, bounteous Lord!|
|31||Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt||Recitative||S B||Allegro||Our first duty we have now performed|
|32||Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite||Duet||S B||E-flat major||Adagio||3/4||Sweet companion, at thy side|
|Der tauende Morgen||Allegro||2/4||The dew dropping morn|
|33||O glücklich Paar, und glücklich immerfort||Recitative secco||Tenor||O happy pair, and ever happy henceforth|
|34||Singt dem Herren alle Stimmen!||Chorus||B-flat major||Andante||Sing the Lord, ye voices all|
|Des Herren Ruhm, er bleibt in Ewigkeit||Chorus (fugue) with soli||S A T B||Allegro||The praise of the Lord will endure forever|
- Richard Wigmore (10 January 2009). "Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) / The Creation (Die Schöpfung), HobXXI/2 (1796–8)" (PDF). Barbican Centre. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- Dorothee Rex (2007). "Joseph Haydn Die Schöpfung" (PDF) (in German). luzerner-kantorei.ch. pp. 2, 4. Retrieved 1 October 2011.