No. 2 RAPHAEL (BASS): RECITATIVE WITH ACCOMPANIMENT In the beginning God created the Heaven, and the earth; and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. CHORUS OF ANGELS And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said: Let there be Light, and there was Light. URIEL (TENOR): RECITATIVE WITH ACCOMPANIMENT And God saw the Light, that it was good; and God divided the Light from the darkness.
No. 2 RAPHAEL (BASS): RECITATIVE WITH ACCOMPANIMENT In the beginning God created the Heaven, and the earth Instrumentation: B; Cl, Str (con sordini) Haydn made only scant use of van Swieten`s recommendation in his text manuscript: The picturesque characteristics of the overture could serve as accompaniment to this recitative´´ because the quotation from the Bible had to have absolute priority after such an instrumentally rich introduction. The word God´´ is emphasised in a high register with a whole note and accompanied in the low range of strings by a reverently diminished seventh B/a-flat/d`/f`, which in bar 3 of Chaos had been played as b/d`/a-flat`/f`. The first interlude interprets the formlessness and void with the soft unison of its descending C minor triad and its repetitions of key expressed in the subsequent verses, and the second time in e-flat major with a subtle unison in which the second subject from Chaos is heard, and darkness with its diminished seventh minus the third. CHORUS OF ANGELS And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters Instrumentation: B, chorus, full orchestra: 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bn, CBn, 2 Hn, 2 Tpt, Timp, 3 Trb, Str Music writer Cuthbert Hadden (1902/34) said in appreciation of the chorus singing in sotto voce that in all the range of oratorio nothing produces a finer effect than the soft voices at the words And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.`´´ The section begins with the dominant ascending E-flat major triad already heard in Chaos, which symbolises the Spirit of God.´´ Still con sordino, with a slow tremolo the strings play a pp chord returning to C minor, which could signify the face of the waters´´ yet still preserves the mysterious and anticipatory atmosphere in accordance with van Swieten`s recommendation: During the chorus the darkness could gradually disappear, but in such a way that enough of the darkness should remain to make the instantaneous transition to light very effective. Let there be light, etc. must only be said once.´´ Thus van Swieten imagined more than just a simple recitation. On the other hand, he did not want a separate musical piece. Considered an eminent example of the expression of the sublime since Pseudo-Longinus`s first-century writing on the sublime, Haydn has the chorus – joined by bass vocal Raphael – render the bible verse Let there be light, and there was light´´ almost like a recitation until the final word light,` terrifying yet warming,´´ dazzles in all its brightness as if born of nothing.´´ The contrast is indeed extraordinary. With the dominant seventh preceding the approaching tonic C major, the accompaniment of the preceding choral section in pp is reduced to the tonal minimum of a pizzicato chord of muted strings, while all the muting falls away with the subsequent ff of the full orchestra with bass trombone and contrabassoon. URIEL (TENOR): RECITATIVE WITH ACCOMPANIMENT And God saw the light Instrumentation: T; Str That after the creation of light the tenor takes over the narration instead of the bass is commensurate with the clearer sound of the voice and to his name: Uriel means God is my light.´´ Although van Swieten did not envision any accompaniment, Haydn wrote a string accompaniment in order to incorporate this recitative into the musical edifice of No. 2. It consists of chords confirming a key of C through a perfect cadence: C major, F major, G major, C major. The final fermata on the pause is to prevent the dissonant C-sharp in the A-major harmony of No. 3 from sounding too abrupt, something not always observed. Source: FEDER, Georg: Joseph Haydn. Die Schöpfung (Kassel 1999), Verlag Bärenreiter.