6th Image / 4th Day No. 12 URIEL (TENOR): RECITATIVE And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and to give light upon the earth; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days, and for years. He made the stars also.
6th Image / 4th Day The fourth scene or sixth image represents the fourth day. In No. 12 based on Gen. 1:14-16 it is told that God creates the sun, moon and stars, indeed as specific lights for day and night and as markers for counting the days and years and for determining the seasons. In Milton`s perspective the light created on the first day is distributed at this point to the newly created heavenly bodies. The verses Gen. 1:17-18 are omitted: And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.´´ Instead, with its description of the creation of the sun, recitative No. 13 follows a paraphrase from verses from Psalm 19. As with the creation of light in No. 1, the rising of the sun in No. 13 suggests an ideological interpretation based on Daniel Chodowiecki`s 1791/92 etching titled Aufklärung´´ (Enlightenment´´) depicting a rising sun and the words in the Magic Flute´´: The rays of the sun expel the night, and annihilate the power of the hypocrite´´ (at the and) or Soon, heralding the morning, the sun will shine forth on its golden path, soon superstition will vanish, soon the wise man will triumph.´´ The performance of the part of The Creation containing new text on 4.12.1809 for the celebration of the anniversary of the University of Leipzig provided a certain affirmation of this interpretation; in No. 13 the following was sung: In vollen Glanze ging der sonnenstrahlende Leibniz auf,´´ a reference to Leibniz rising in splendour bright,´´ while afterward the stepping on´´ of the moon was compared with Gellert. At the end of the fourth day the angels sing that heaven, the firmament, the days and the nights are telling the glory of God (No. 14). This text continues to draw on Psalm 19 (The heavens are telling the glory of God´´), as did Gellert`s song, The Heavens Praise the Eternal Glories, which is known to all in Beethoven`s composition (1803). The context of the psalmist`s image of the day that has past praising God to the coming day and of the night that has past praising God to the coming night is the biblical idea that light and darkness reside in two different unknown locations to where they disappear and from where they return every day: Where is the way where light dwelleth? And as for darkness, where is the place thereof?´´ asks Yahweh the unknowing Job (38:19).
No. 12 URIEL (TENOR): RECITATIVE And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. The disproportionately long accented note on the unimportant fourth word Let´´ is considered by a publisher of the work, Eusebius Mandyczewski, to be an oversight in declamation. A certain solemnity is also perceived in it as well. Source:
FEDER, Georg: Joseph Haydn. Die Schöpfung (Kassel 1999), Verlag Bärenreiter.