FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Die Schöpfung (The creation)
Gabriel / Eva
Raphael / Adam
Maria Letizia Poltini
Opera Carlo Felice Genova Orchestra and Choir
Claudio Marino Moretti, Choirmaster
La creazione is an oratorio composed by Haydn between 1797 and 1798, performed for the first time at Karntnertor-Theater in Vienna on March 19, 1799. The composer probably began writing it some years earlier, when returning from his staying in London where he could find inspiration from Händel’s orarotios. The work of unsure attribution, from the Genesis and John Milton’s Paradise Lost, was handled to Haydn by the entrepreneur Johann Peter Salomon just before his departure to London.
The oratorio presents a very broad ensemble for its time, with almost 160 elements including orchestra and choir, and it is formed by three parts. The symphonic introduction represents the primordial chaos, soon destined to be complete in the joy of creation exploding with the intervention of the choir in C major «Und es ward Licht.» (E la luce fu.). The first two parts present the biblical narration of the Genesis through the voices of the archangels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael. The first part focuses on the wonders of land, sea and stars; the second part is a rich zoological portrait leading to the creation of man. To underline the importance of such a moment, Haydn reaches one of the highest peaks of intensity when Uriel recites:Und aus dem hellen Blicke strahlt / Der Geist, des Schöpfers Hauch und Ebenbild.» (and his clear look shows / the spirit, the breath and the image of the Creator). In the third part, adam and Eve are in the Garden of Eden observing their complementary looks and celebrating the beauty of love. The oratorio concludes with the triumph of the final choir, an hymn to the Lord.
In some measure, in the most part of Haydn’s works emerges a luminous and positive approach. With La Creazione such an approach expands in the expression of a religious depth, celebrated with rare grandiosity. The oratorio stands out as a special element of the composer’s catalogue, remaining one of the best examples of such a genre.