When the Austrian maestro Haydn visited England in the early 1790s, he heard old oratorios by Handel – Messiah and Israel in Egypt in particular – and was thereby inspired to write a new oratorio of his own. The Creation re-invented oratorio for the 19th century, not least because it was the first oratorio ever to have been composed and published in two languages simultaneously. The fact that this innovative concert piece was conceived by someone of retirement age makes it even more remarkable.
The Creation was first performed in Vienna in 1798 in its German-language version; in 1800 it was performed in London in English. Our Mayfield performance uses the original English text and presents three young singers from London’s Royal College of Music as vocal soloists. In Haydn’s oratorio, these three voices represent the Archangels Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. The first two parts of Haydn’s oratorio present the first six days of Creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis. The third part uses Milton’s Paradise Lost as its basis: Adam and Eve are shown in wedded bliss, when things were still smelling of roses in the Garden of Eden (Haydn was a confirmed optimist – he avoided portrayal of the Fall of Man).
Mayfield Festival Choir is joined for this concert by the youthful Ripieno Players (who last played with the choir in 2019), soloists Sofia Kirwan-Baez (Soprano), Dafydd Jones (Tenor), Leo Selleck (Bass) and conductor Jeremy Summerly.
This concert is promoted by Mayfield Festival Choir and supported by the Mayfield Festival.
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