Hall: Concert Hall
Subscription: D1 - Symphonic concerts, Z1 - Golden subscription
Price: 25-80 zł
During Haydn’s second visit to London, he was handed a mysterious oratorio libretto telling the story of the Creation, based on both the Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost. A work surrounded in mystery, its author and intended use unknown, the text later went missing. Legend has it that it was written for Händel himself, but he did not venture to write the music to it. Haydn was fascinated with Händel’s oratorio music, with which he had already become familiar back in Vienna. However, it was not until his stay in England that he had an opportunity to witness extravagant and spectacular performances – very fashionable at the time – with huge line‑ups and enthusiastically embraced by audiences. As a consequence, he became very interested in the libretto and got down to work on it immediately after his return from London. However, he used a German translation by Gottfried van Swieten, who, once Haydn had composed the music, translated the text back into English (sic!). Therefore, the first printed edition of Die Schöpfung / The Creation (1800) was from the very beginning bilingual and was intended for the concert stage in England. The Creation enjoyed even greater success in Austria and Germany, where even a pre‑premiere concert with a relatively small line‑up held on 23 April 1798 proved a real sensation.
Haydn’s subsequent oratorio, rich in exquisite arias and imposing choirs, and stirring the listener with its refined musical symbolism, rapidly achieved almost legendary status. Performed time and again, it helped boost Haydn’s fame and earned him a great fortune, which he donated entirely to charity.