The Creation

Haydn, Joseph (1732–1809)

Academy of Ancient Music

Emma Kirkby Gabriel, Eve

Anthony Rolfe Johnson Uriel

Michael George Raphael, Adam

Choir of New College, Oxford

Kym Ampf mezzo-soprano solo

Christopher Hogwood conductor

Year: 1990
Catalogue: Decca 430 397 2

About this album

"This day we had a different spectacle in Vienna ... the famous Haydn performed the creation of the world set to music. In my whole life I won't hear another piece of music so beautiful ... The music all by itself described thunder and lightning and then you heard the rain falling and the water rushing and the birds really singing and the lion roaring and you could even hear the worms crawling along the ground."
JOSEPH RICHTER ON THE FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE OF THE CREATION, VIENNA 1799

The inspiration for The Creation came from 1790s London. Overwhelmed by the experience of hearing Handel's oratorios performed on a grand scale at Westminster Abbey, Haydn returned to Vienna in 1795 armed with the libretto which was to be the basis of his masterpiece. The work was a huge hit; by the time of the composer's death in 1809 Vienna had enjoyed some 45 performances, and the oratorio's fame spread almost immediately to cities ranging from St Petersburg to Paris and from Budapest to London.

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