No. 31 Duet and Chorus 1st segment ADAM (BASS) AND EVE (SOPRANO): By thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord, the heav`n and earth are stor`d. This world, so great, so wonderful, thy mighty hand has fram`d. CHORUS: For ever blessed be his pow`r! His name be ever magnified! ADAM: Of stars the fairest, o how sweet thy smile at dawning morn! How brighten`st thou, o Sun, the day, thou eye and soul of all! CHORUS: Proclaim, in your extended course the almighty pow`r and praise of God! EVE: And thou, that rul`st the silent night, and all ye starry host, spread wide and ev`ry where his praise in choral songs about. ADAM: Ye strong and comb`rous elements, who ceaseless changes make, ye dusky mists and dewy streams that rise and fall thro` th` air: ADAM UND EVA Resound the praise of God the Lord! CHORUS: Great is his name, and great his might. EVE: Ye purling fountains, tune his praise, and wave your tops, ye pines! Ye plants, exhale, ye flowers breathe at him your balmy scent! ADAM: Ye, that on mountains stately tread, and ye, that lowly creep; ye birds that sing at heaven`s gate, and ye, that swim the stream; ADAM AND EVE: Ye living souls, extol the Lord! Him celebrate, him magnify! ADAM AND EVE: Ye valleys, hills, and shady woods, our raptur`d notes ye heard; from morn till ev`n you shall repeat our grateful hymns of praise! CHORUS: Hail, bounteous Lord! Almighty, hail! Thy word call`d forth this wond`rous frame. Thy pow`r adore the heav`n and earth; we praise thee now and evermore.
No. 31 Duet and Chorus 1st segment ADAM (BASS) AND EVE (SOPRANO): By thee with bliss Instrumentation: S, B, Chorus; 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Bn, CBn, 2 Hn, 2 Tpt, Timp, 3 Tbn, Str – C major, adagio, from bar 48: allegretto 2/4 Basso Adam´´ is written in the manuscript of the libretto; van Swieten had thus intended a bass vocal for Adam from the start. Based on the operatic model, a tenor would have been suggested for the male part of a typical pair of lovers, but van Swieten probably wanted to avoid this association. The image of a buffo lover´´ is certainly not the image he had in mind, although the bass vocal was not unusual for this since the time of Pergolesi`s La serva padrona (1733). The text of the song of praise with alternating chorus of angels´´ consists of regular verses in two forms. The four-line form with its alternating four- and three-foot iambs is reserved for the soloists; the two-line and at the end four-line forms with their four-foot iambs are meant for the responding chorus. Haydn solves the problem of the length and symmetry of the text in that he sets the verses to music in three various segments: Adagio – Allegretto 2/4 – Chorus. The first segment makes do in the orchestra with strings, flutes, oboes, bassoons and solo timpani. In the middle segment the timpani fall away and the contrabassoon comes in. In the third segment, the chorus, the entire orchestra plays (without clarinets). As specified in the libretto, Adam and Eve begin the first segment together, deviating from the conventional form of duet, as we encounter in No. 33. Van Swieten`s recommendation for the arrangement of this segment was less helpful: Since the first still inexperienced and innocent human couple expresses its inner emotion, it follows that the song should be simple and the melody syllabically progressive; there could be a more solid rhythm for Adam than for Eve, and the difference in emotion caused by the difference in their sex could be suggested by alternating between major and minor keys.´´
Haydn refrained from identifying man in a major and woman in a minor key, however, and in a certain way emphasised the unity between the sexes over the difference, not by means of uniformity, however, but using complementary counterpoint and dialogue. Nor does the melody progress syllabically, but is slightly melismatic instead, though at least at the beginning it features a more solid rhythm´´ with Adam. Haydn followed van Swieten`s second piece of advice: The joining chorus of angels should interrupt the uniformity of the verses and diverge from their melodic song, something probably best done using harmony´´ in that he inserted an independent chorus characterised not by harmony,´´ rather by counterpoint: the first sketch features a four-part C minor chorus of 20 bars with motet-like reciprocally imitative entrances without solos. But in a new draft based on the same sketch and a more extensive one based on another sketch, Haydn no longer brings in the chorus as an interruption to the duet, but simultaneously with a repetition of the first verse by Adam and Eve. He consequently writes it in C major and gives it a supporting role in the style of a psalmodising declamation in very simple chords. In the final version these chords are sung in an even lower register and explicitly in p, both of which stand in alienating opposition to the words His name be ever magnified´´ and in precisely this way express devotion and emotion. (This part is one of those which Beethoven creatively implemented later on when in Fidelio´´ he joined a quietly psalmodising accompanying chorus in a dramatically effective way with the allegro-agitato aria Ha! Welch ein Augenblick). Just as important as the chorus for the atmosphere of mystery is the orchestra, which is finely differentiated in sound and rhythm: the triplet eighth notes of the violins are blended with the eighth notes of the choral rhythm and a rhythm of the wind instruments dotted with pauses; from bar 31 the solo timpani enter with quiet rolling, as Haydn used them for the Agnus Dei in the Timpani Mass. Similarly, the arpeggios of the second violins played in staccato, harp-like accompaniment are found at the beginning of the first aria of Orpheus in Haydn`s opera L`anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice composed in 1791, where it picks up the notes that were actually played by the harp in the preceding recitative. Haydn arranged the long second segment as a rondo. The song-like theme rendered by Adam and accompanied by the violins in a simple F major (with prelude, bar 48ff.) is repeated by Eve in the same key after the chorus segment (bar 98ff.). A refreshing episode (Ye mighty elements´´, bar 126ff.) which Adam begins following a short modulation and without orchestral accompaniment continues with the two solo parts in concert with the chorus, which sings the twice-made injunction of Adam and Eve to Resound the praise of God the Lord!´´ Then Eve repeats the theme again, this time in A-flat major (with prelude, bar 161 ff.). In a second effective episode (bar 194 to 200) Haydn abruptly introduces the bass vocal first in a triad ascending to E-flat` (Ye that on mountains stately tread´´) and then, after an ascending half-note step from A-flat to A, in a diminished seventh back down to A (and ye, that lowly creep´´). For musical coherence he composes the following contrast Ye birds that sing at heaven`s gate, and ye, that swim the stream´´ (bars 202-210) as an ascending free-form sequence of the preceding contrast; the half-note step is now heard as D-flat`-D` and is continued by Eve with D``-E-flat`` (bars 211/212). It is characteristic of Haydn`s systematic style of arrangement when he also uses the half-note ascent for the choral continuation with the words Ye, ye creatures of our God and King´´ and for additional ascents (bars 214 to 226), which lead to a powerful half close in which both soloists reinforce the chorus in contrast to the libretto, but commensurate with the words praise, praise him, all ye breathing life!´´ Afterward, the two soloists bring the rondo to a close in a duet by repeating the theme in G major (with prelude, bar 227ff.). For the sake of musical suspense, at the beginning of the third, purely choral segment (bar 263ff.) Haydn uses the chromatic step again in order to modulate in a crescendo back to the basic key of C major, the attainment of which is reinforced by the full orchestra. (In a sketch this important transition is written in notation which perhaps reveals the inner excitement of the composer, with few notes as a loose idea. The form of this chorus is latently divided into three parts: two chordal structures (bars 263-290 and 331-386) flank a central part whose style is imitative of a motet (bars 291-330). This arrangement is overlaid by an orchestral accompaniment with a movement consisting of a persistent, rapid progression of sixteenth notes dramatically interrupted three times by a general pause before the close. Haydn deliberately foregoes intensification using crescendi; f and p steadily collide with one another. The part Thy pow`r adore the heav`n and earth´´ is sung the first and second time in p, the second time with a chromatic unison ascent. The third time Haydn shifts the dynamic contrast to the phrase itself: in p the chorus sings Thy pow`r adore´´ in soprano and alto, and in f it continues with the heaven and earth.´´ The immanent suspense of this brilliant and powerful chorus furnishes no hint of it ending the oratorio or of the entire elimination of the subsequent numbers, as so many have proposed, for No. 28 with its 386 bars is not only the longest but also the most consummate piece in The Creation. Source: FEDER, Georg: Joseph Haydn. Die Schöpfung (Kassel 1999), Verlag Bärenreiter.