1st DAY | 2nd DAY | 3rd DAY | 4th DAY | 5th DAY | 6th DAY | 7th DAY
sujet Tag 8
PART I: Inorganic world and vegetation
1st Image / 1st day
No. 1 The Representation of Chaos
No. 2 In the beginning God created the Heaven, and the earth
No. 3 Now vanish before the holy beams
2nd Image / 2nd Day
No. 4 And God made the firmament
No. 5 The marv’lous work beholds amaz’d
3rd Image / 3rd Day
No. 6 And God said: Let the waters under the heaven
No. 7 Rolling in foaming billows
4th Image
No. 8 And God said: Let the earth bring forth grass
No. 9 With verdure clad the fields appear
5th Image
No. 10 And the heav’nly host proclaimed
No. 11 Awake the harp
6th Image / 4th Day
No. 12 And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament
No. 13 In splendour bright is rising now the sun
No. 14 The heavens are telling the glory of God

PART II: Animal and Man
7th Image / 5th Day
No. 15 And God said: Let the waters bring forth
No. 16 On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle 8th Image
No. 17 And God created great whales
No. 18 And the angels struck their immortal harps
No. 19 Most beautiful appear
No. 20 The Lord is great, and great his might
9th Image / 6th Day
No. 21 And God said: Let the earth bring forth
No. 22 Straight opening her fertile womb
No. 23 Now heav’n in fullest glory shone 10th Image
No. 24 And God created man No. 25 In native worth and honour clad 11th Image
No. 26 And God saw ev’ry thing
No. 27 Achieved is the glorious work (I)
No. 28 On thee each living soul awaits
No. 29 Achieved is the glorious work (II)

12th Image / 7th Day
No. 30 In rosy mantle
No. 31 By thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord 13th Image
No. 32 Our duty we performed now
No. 33 Graceful consort! At thy side 14th Image
No. 34 O happy pair, and always happy yet
No. 35 Sing the Lord, ye voices all!!
Circumstances of Origin
Origin of the Libretto
German Libretto
Haydn’s Opinion

No oratorio comparable in scope on the story of creation preceded Haydn’s work. Of the events of creation, Karl Philipp Moritz, the writer of a cantata called Die Schöpfungsfeier oder Die Hirten in Midian set to music by Johann Samuel Carl Possin in Rheinsberg in 1782, focuses only on the creation of light and the sunrise for lyrical treatment. Klopstock glorified the sunrise as a symbol of the resurrection in his Ode Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste (1782), on which Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach based his identically named cantata in 1783. In his cantata Das Halleluja der Schöpfung (Skabningens Halleluja), which was set to music by Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius Kunzen and translated into German prior to publication by Conrad Friedrich Schmidt-Phiseldeck, Danish poet Jens Baggesen addresses several moments of the story of creation in an effusive, Klopstock-like style. The composition successfully premiered in Copenhagen in 1797, then was performed frequently in other cities as well and printed in 1804. A critic in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung dated 4.6.1800 said the text was “somewhat monotonous at times,” the plan, however, “truly musical.” In contrast, Gottfried van Swieten said that the text was indeed “poetic, but nothing less than musical,” and Haydn found the work “supremely cold and mediocre.” (Griesinger 25.3.1801 and 30.1.1802). If anything, a cantata called Die Schöpfung that was probably unknown to him and composed by Benedict Kraus in Coburg in 1789 can be viewed as a predecessor to his own Creation, for like it, it depicts the six days of work in non-rhyming verse, but without quoting the Bible. The writer of the verses, Court Chaplain Hochbaum in Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld, had probably been inspired by Johann Adolf Schlegel’s poem Die Schöpfung (1748), which appeared in his Vermischte Gedichte (Karlsruhe 1788) and deals extensively with the identical theme. The music and text from an English oratorio composed by Thomas Busby also in 1789 have disappeared with the exception of two contemplative arias concerning texts which are biblical but do not originate in Genesis and which are still composed in an entirely Handel-like style; a performance announced in 1803 after the success of Haydn’s work never materialised.

Circumstances of Origin
Yet it was not the knowledge of such antecedents which was critical. Other circumstances coincided, prompting Haydn to compose The Creation: first, after his London experiences his own desire to create a work like Handel’s Messiah; second, the encouragement of a London music enthusiast to select the story of creation as a theme; third, the preparation of a libretto on the theme by London concert promoter Johann Peter Salomon, who brought Haydn to London and after successful symphonies and other works wanted to obtain an oratorio for London; fourth, van Swieten’s much earlier as well as renewed pressure on Haydn to write a work in the style of Handel’s oratorios for Vienna; fifth, the German translation and editing of the English libretto by van Swieten and sixth, the financing of the undertaking by ten members of Vienna’s “upper nobility,” who were influenced in regard to music by van Swieten, for whom Haydn, as expressed in a letter on 9.7.1799, “had to set” the creation “to music.”

Haydn conceived of his plan during his stays in England (1791-1792 and 1794-1795). The material inspiration was given to him by violinist François-Hippolyte Barthelemon, an adherent of the Swedish theosophist Emanuel Swedenborg, one of whose numerous spiritual writings is a commentary on Genesis. Haydn was involved in Barthelemon’s London concerts in 1792 and 1794, was a frequent guest at his home and corresponded with him later. The report published in 1880 by Charles Henry Purday based on the stories of his father, who was befriended with Barthelemon in 1806-1807, states: “During Haydn’s stay in England he was so impressed by the performance of Handel’s Messiah that he intimated to his friend Barthelemon his great desire to compose a work of a similar kind. He asked Barthelemon what theme he would suggest for such a purpose. Barthelemon picked up his Bible and said: ‘There, take this, and start with the beginning.’” According to another version, Haydn stated the following reason: “I want[ed] to write something through which my name [would] endure in the world.” It is quite conceivable that in pursuing Barthelemon’s advice he then sought a text about the story of creation. Haydn’s second biographer, landscape painter Albert Christoph Dies, reports that in London Salomon provided the initial motive for the work: “Salomon decided to have Haydn write a great oratorio and gave him what was already an old libretto in English for this purpose. Haydn doubted his proficiency in English, undertook nothing and ultimately departed London on 15 August 1795 [...] Haydn only recalled the English text again when shortly after his arrival in Vienna Baron van Swieten said to him: “Haydn, we want to hear an oratorio from you” He informed the baron about the situation and showed him the English text. Greisinger reports that the “initial idea about the oratorio Die Schöpfung, [...] belonged to an Englishman named Lidley”; he attests that Haydn was supposed to compose Lidley’s text for Salomon and adds: “But he soon realised that he didn’t understand enough English for this undertaking [although he had already composed English songs, psalms, choruses and similar items in London]; the text was also so long that the oratorio would have lasted about four hours. Meanwhile Haydn took the text with him to Germany; he showed it to Baron van Swieten [...], and he arranged it the way it is now.” In a letter to the editors of the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung written in Vienna at the end of December 1798, van Swieten himself writes that the libretto was “by an unnamed author who had compiled it largely from Milton’s Paradise Lost and had intended it for Handel,” who for reasons that are unknown never made any use of it: “But when Haydn was in London it was sought out and given to him with the request that he set it to music. At first sight the material seemed to be well chosen and well suited to musical effects, yet he did not accept the proposal immediately and said he would announce his decision from Vienna, to where he was about to return and where he would take a closer look at the poem. He then showed it to me, and I found I also agreed with his judgement concerning the piece. Moreover, I immediately recognised that such an exalted subject would provide Haydn with the opportunity I had long desired, to demonstrate the full extent of his profound mastery and to express the full force of his inexhaustible genius; so I encouraged him to take the work in hand, and so our Fatherland might be the first to enjoy it, I resolved to translated the English poem into German.” A task for which van Swieten was well prepared.

Origin of the Libretto
The English libretto and its unknown writer.
After Haydn’s return, van Swieten helped him write the vocal score of the Seven Words of Our Savior on the Cross, a tender passion which was successful at its first performances (on 26. and 27.3.1796) at Schwarzenberg Palace) and enjoyed considerable success later on, but was unable to satisfy either Haydn’s or van Swieten’s ideas of an oratorio in the tradition of Handel. To do this a libretto was required such as the one Haydn had brought from London. That for all its piety the material in The Creation also featured secular aspects was likely to have been very much in accordance with van Swieten’s taste; the purely mythological material of the Alxinger cantata and van Swieten’s selection among the Handel oratorios for the concerts of the Society of Associated Cavaliers suggest this, as do the later more secular than spiritual Seasons and the project van Swieten no longer realised “for Haydn to develop another tragic and another comical theme in order to convince the world of Haydn’s all-encompassing genius.” The recent thesis put forward that van Swieten wrote the German libretto on his own and that the English libretto never existed is obviously unfounded, even if it must be conceded that the English writer, whose name Griesinger states as “Lidley,” cannot be verified. Tovey suspects him to be the musician Thomas Linley (1733 to 1795), who in the perspective of music researcher Edward Olleson did not write it, but merely discovered it in the archive of the oratorio concerts he co-directed at the Drury Lane Theatre, the tradition of which went back to Handel’s time. Perhaps it was simply a misunderstanding: if Griesinger stated the name of the English publisher as “Bay” instead of “Hyde” and that of the painter “Grassi” as “Grasset,” perhaps he also understood “Lidley” rather than “Delany”; Mary Delany, an admirer of Handel, writes in a letter dated 10.3.1744 that she wrote a now lost libretto for an oratorio for Handel based on Milton’s Paradise Lost. But even this hypothesis does not hold up, for the content of her text is different: “I begin with Satan’s threatening to seduce the woman, her being seduced follows, and it ends with the man yielding to temptation.” Without documentary substantiation, Benjamin Stillingfleet, the writer of a libretto for an oratorio composed by John Christopher Smith which was based on Milton – but not on his depiction of the six days – and called Paradise Lost (1760), and the Handel librettists Charles Jennens and Newburgh Hamilton have also been mentioned. Thus the question of authorship remains unanswered
The Heritage of the English Libretto.
The first question to answer is whether the English libretto is original. In the original edition of the full score appearing in 1800 an English libretto appears next to the German one. Its subsequent underlay occurred first in the Berlin score, apparently through van Swieten, who made mistakes in pronunciation and accent. Since Haydn put the German libretto to music, as his sketches unambiguously demonstrate, in numerous places in the English version a variety of notations were required, which van Swieten also added into this copy; in the original version they are engraved in small notation. This “miserable broken English,” which Haydn’s Scottish publisher George Thomson had already lamented in 1804, was considered – at least until Tovey (1937) - an incompetent re-translation of the German translation of the missing English draft and was subject to numerous improvements. Entirely new translations also appeared. Recently a rhymed text appeared written by Anne Hunter, poet of several of Haydn’s English songs; a performance in London’s Royal Hall in 1993 was based on it. However, more recent research – namely by Olleson and Nicholas Temperley – has shown that in the main and despite its faults the text supplied in the original edition is likely to reflect the missing edition, if van Swieten’s eliminations and changes are ignored. First, van Swieten’s knowledge of English was insufficient for a translation from German into English, as the comparison with The Seasons shows; despite all its errors, the English text of The Creation exhibits a higher level, with the exception of specific parts such as the grammatically deficient final recitative (No. 34), which is likely to have been written by van Swieten. Second, it is also of consequence that in several parts it coincides with the source, Milton’s Paradise Lost, rather than the German text. For example, in recitative No. 22 the English verse “Strait opening her fertile womb” corresponds precisely to Milton’s “straight op’ning her fertile womb,” while in the German text “Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoߔ a word corresponding to the adjective “fertile” is lacking, just as the expressions “tawny lion” and “sinuous trace” borrowed from Milton lack an equivalent in the German text of this recitative. Third, two librettos published in 1800 on the occasion of the first London performances under the direction of John Ashley and Salomon are even closer to “Lidley.” That is to say, they feature consistent versions which are no longer found in the original score, but which are probably located in the preceding Berlin score, which was fully unknown in London. For example, the aria in No. 23 begins in the original edition “Now heav’n in fullest glory shone/earth smiles in all her rich attire.” In contrast, in the Berlin score and in the London librettos which are consistent with it, is “Now heav’n in all her glory shone / Earth smiles in her rich attire.” This corresponds to Milton: “Now Heav’n in all her Glory shone, ... Earth in her rich attire ... smil’d,” and is certainly consistent with “Lidley.” The London librettos even contain interpretations which no longer appear in the musical record and in these cases can be viewed as the sole preservers of “Lidley’s” text. An example of this is in the aria in No. 7 in the verse: “In silent vales soft gliding brooks / By gentle noise mark out their way”; the Berlin score and original edition of the score contains the variant which certainly originates from van Swieten: “Softly purling glides on / Thro’ silent vales the limpid brook.” Fourth, the verse and stanza forms of the English librettos from the original edition of the score were absent and must consequently be of another origin. It also features minor, consistent deviations from the German librettos which were printed in 1798 in Vienna. For all these reasons Ashley’s libretto, of which Salomon’s libretto appears to be a reprint, is probably attributed to a missing manuscript of a libretto that was close to “Lidley” and was only cursorily revised based on the original edition of the core. The lack of rhyming in the text poses an unsolved problem, however. It has been pointed out that the English oratorio of the 18th century (as long as it was not purely biblical like Handel’s) always contained several sections with rhymed verses. If that was also the case with the English version of The Creation, the only remaining explanation is that in his elimination of primarily non-rhyming sections van Swieten preserved the recitatives (except the biblical and psalmic) and eliminated rhymes in remaining aria texts.

The Sources of the English Libretto
Provided all of this is true, the origin of the English libretto can be reconstructed. “Lidley” took over the biblical recitative word for word from the authorised King James Version of the Bible (1611). In the non-biblical recitatives and arias from Milton’s epic, which encompasses over ten-thousand verses, he extracted specific components, expressive phrases and combinations of words which he probably cited from memory. If for Milton experts such as Noam Flinker several of them took on the characteristics of a parody relocated in contexts other than Milton, this was surely unintentional. “Lidley” was also inspired by the chorus of angels in Milton, freely borrowed from the Psalms in its wording and based it for the most part on the Book of Common Prayer. The commentary to our reprint of the libretto in the third part of this book features a reference to each source.

The Origin of the German Libretto
Van Swieten made “a shortened loose translation in German” out of “Lidley’s” English libretto” (Dies). He himself reports: “My part in the work, which was originally in English, was certainly rather more than mere translation; but it was far from being such that I could regard it as my own.” And he states: “...I followed the plan of the original faithfully as a whole, but I diverged from it in details as often as musical progress and expression, of which I already had an ideal conception in my mind, seemed to demand. Guided by these sentiments, I often judged it necessary that much should be shortened or even omitted, on the one hand, and on the other that much should be made more prominent or brought into greater relief, and much placed more in the shade.” Reports by contemporaries generally concur with this, as a letter by Princess Eleonore Liechtenstein, who writes on 29.4.1798 after the rehearsals: “The poem, they say, is written by the Baron,” but two days later after the premiere, “that Haydn came from England planning to compose on the subject matter, for which he was given an English-language poem there; and the Baron worked on it and without intending to take anything from it, I think basically translated it.” Count Karl von Zinzensdorf notes on 30.4.1798 in his diary: “Taken from the Bible and from Milton, translated by B. Swieten.” The German wording of the bible verses has not been verified in Bible editions prior to 1800; van Swieten’s translation is not likely to have been the Vulgata, but the authorised version found in the English text, taking the Luther bible into account only in parts.

Haydn’s Opinion regarding the German Libretto
Haydn explicitly recognised the value of the German text which emerged in this way; in a letter dated 6.10.1799, as he was about to compose the music for the libretto to The Seasons, which he regarded less highly, he wrote that “a more interesting book would be difficult to come by” (Unverricht, 41). His remarks in connection with The Seasons and the planning of an oratorio which never materialised show why: he wanted nothing “dramatic,” nothing “presumptuous” and no “syntactic breaks” (enjambments); the text should be “rich in images”; the “clair-obscure” (light-dark effect) had to be present; and he demanded “extensive detail or commentary on the text in addition to remarks where the poet finds a duet, trio, allegro, ritornellos, chorus, etc., most appropriate. This facilitates the work of the composer and requires the poet to write musically, which so very rarely occurs.” Haydn found all of this carried out in the libretto to The Creation.
Orchestra Size
Arrangement of Orchestra and Direction

As was consistent with the 18th century tradition, the structure in sections and pieces (recitative, aria, duet, trio, chorus, instrumental piece) is largely determined by the librettist. A set phrase such as “van Swieten’s text is time-bound, Haydn’s music timeless” fails to reflect this. The form which van Swieten gave the libretto largely determined the form of the composition (van Swieten also sought to have an influence on the form of the specific arias, choruses, etc. through his notes in the margins in his libretto; this is indicated in the discussion of specific numbers). Several decisions concerning the form are probably attributed to the English libretto, namely the division into three parts, as is encountered by most of Handel’s oratorios; this differentiates The Creation from the genre of the two-part Italian oratorio prevalent in Vienna until then, the tradition to which Haydn’s The Return of Tobias belonged. The subdivision of these three parts into specific pieces follows the traditional alternation between recitative and aria (both pieces sung by the same person) found in the Italian and generally in the English oratorio, but instead of an aria or duet, a chorus or a mix of soloists and choral segments often appear as in Handel’s oratorios. In The Creation these elements are linked to one another in an even greater variety of ways than in Handel’s work, and Haydn integrated them even more closely than specified in the libretto.

The Keys
The keys of the specific pieces do not follow a formula; however, they are laid out in such as way that they effectively provide variation and contrast, unity and connection. Several commentators take the recurrent C major as the basic key of the work. This certainly applies to the first part, which begins in C minor and ends in C major. One could say that C major is the key of several of the characteristic sections and comprises one of the two tonal poles; the other is B major, the key of the first actual soprano aria and the final chorus of the second and third parts. C major could be described – a bit exaggeratedly – as the key assigned to the joyous aspect of The Creation, B major – at least in the choruses – as the key piously assigned to the creator, for B major is the most frequently appearing key in Haydn’s masses, while “Creation of Light” (No. 1), “The marv-lous work beholds amaz’d” (No. 5) “The heavens are telling (No. 14), “And God created man” (No. 24) and “By thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord” (No. 31) are sung in C major. The remaining primary keys join the tonal poles closer to the circle of fifths: to C major (five times) belong D major (three times), A major (two times) and E major (one time); to B major (four times) belong F major with D minor (once each) and E-flat major (two times) with C minor (one time). (In the specific pieces the keys extend far beyond these areas).

The recitatives, the first German examples of which Haydn wrote after his numerous Italian recitatives, which appeared in operas, cantatas and in The Return of Tobias, are traditionally of four types, with several types blended with one another in several pieces: 1) Secco recitative: these open eleven of the fourteen images and are generally short, for the usually long secco recitatives in the Italian tradition had fallen into disfavour after 1780. 2) Also generally short recitatives with chordal accompaniment by a string orchestra (particularly at the end of Nos. 1 and 12, No. 14) they are meant to avoid the impression of a sound-break; the chords are generally short and energetic, sometimes sustained. 3) Somewhat longer recitatives with tone-painting interludes from the orchestra (in Nos. 1, 3, 12, 21, 29), at the beginning of the first and third part with long introductions. 4) Ariosi (in Nos. 12 and 16). The secco recitative has a structuring function and serves to recover the hearing of the listener after the powerful effects of sound from the preceding number and to pave the way for the upcoming pieces. The recitative with tone-painting interludes is musically richer due to the orchestral mastery of characterisation. Haydn, however, also observes the limits of the genre here by progressing quickly and, as a result, considerably differentiating the recitative from the arias and choruses with their autonomous musical forms. The arias have a highly individualised arrangement, far beyond the pattern of the baroque da capo aria with its stereotypical ritornellos. They are also not as long and rich in coloratura as in Haydn’s Italian The Return of Tobias. Instead, they often feature song-like melodic influences. They are also more varied in form and more differentiated in instrumentation. The first two arias, for tenor and soprano (No. 3 and 5), join in with the chorus. Only the third and fourth (No. 7 and 9) arias bring the bass and soprano to full solo development. In the second part after the new arias of the soprano (No. 16) and bass (No. 23), the tenor also has his big aria (No. 25). For intensification, the third part features two duets by soprano and bass rather than an aria; the first duet is connected to the chorus, the second follows a form which Haydn had already tested in his operas. The choruses are not restricted to a secondary role as they originally were in The Return of Tobias, nor do they dominate as exclusively as in Seven Words of Our Savior on the Cross; rather, they build the supporting pillars as in Handel’s Messiah. With the exception of Nos. 10, 26 and 28, they are closely intertwined with one or several solo parts, to a much richer degree than in the Seven Words of Our Saviour on the Cross or Haydn’s masses. Several choruses are in the style of a fugue, as most of the closures of the major Gloria and Credo movements in the masses, while others perform in concert; but even the latter remain linked to the Baroque tradition through their powerful basses and aspire to a linear polyphony through their intermediate vocals. In their extraordinary diversity the choruses are not subordinate to the arias; freedom from the pattern is the hallmark of all of the work’s choruses, even the three actual fugues (Nos. 10, 28, 34).


The numbering of the three parts is authentic. Haydn did not number the individual segments. The original edition of the score appeared without numbers. In the early copy of the score for Prince Lobkowitz the pieces are numbered from 1 to 22 retroactively. The newer editions include 17, 32, 33 or 34 numbers. The 17 numbers of the Italian Ricordi edition correspond most to the basic structure. Anthony van Hoboken also has 17 numbers in his Haydn catalogue of works, but in another arrangement. This website uses the most frequent numbering today consisting of 35 numbers. Not only the ur-libretto found on this website follows this numbering, but the first edition does as well.


The work is written for 1) three solo vocals: soprano c’-b’’, ad lib. c’’’ in No. 4), tenor (B-b’) and bass (F-f-sharp’); in the final chorus there is also an alto; 2) a four-part mixed chorus and 3) an orchestra consisting of 2 Fl (in No. 29: 3 Fl) 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bn, CBn, 2 Hn, 2 Tpt, Timp, 3 Tbn, Str as well as a keyboard. The orchestration changes from number to number. The full orchestra is reserved for the three C major numbers in the first part, namely the “The creation of light” (No.1), the solo with chorus “The marv’lous work beholds amaz’d” (No. 5) and the final chorus (No. 14), also the B major final choruses of both other parts (Nos. 29, 35). In the introduction Haydn already goes beyond what he achieved in his London Symphonies, particularly as pertains to his preference for wind instruments. The new idiomatic style of composition for the clarinets in his Creation are likely to have been influenced by Mozart, the Haydn and Mozart researcher Robbins Landon suspects. The contrastive and differentiated dynamic, for example the long decrescendo of the unison at the beginning, the sudden ff for the creation of light as well as at the end of No. 30 or the sudden p in No. 18 play an essential role in the impact of the orchestra.

Orchestra Size

The original sound of the work was certainly not much different than the sound of today’s performances. Nevertheless, many aspects of performance practice in Haydn’s time have become alien to us today and require research. An important document was presented in the beginning. In his recollections of the first public performance of The Creation on 19.3.1799 the Swedish musician Johan Fredrik Berwald, then an eleven-year-old prodigy, performed as virtuoso on the violin. “When we entered we saw that the actual theatre [stage] was built in the form of an amphitheatre. Below at the fortepiano sat [Court Theatre] Kapellmeister [Joseph] Weigl surrounded by the solo singers, chorus, a violoncello and a contrabass. One level higher stood Haydn himself with the conductor’s staff. Yet another level higher on one side stood the primo violins led by [orchestra director of the Burg- and Kärntnertortheatre] Paul Wranitzky, and on the other side: the second violins led by his brother Anton [the director of Prince Lobkowitz’s orchestra]. In the centre, violas and basses; on the flanks basses as well; on the higher levels the wind instruments; and finally at the top, trumpets, timpani and trombones. This was the arrangement of the orchestra, which, including the chorus, encompassed about 400 people.”


This number was exaggerated. Constanze Mozart spoke of “181 instruments” prior to the performance, the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung more accurately of 180 “persons,” for the chorus was included in this number; this appears specifically in a report on the performance in the same newspaper dated 10.4.1799. Despite this, compared with most of today’s performances the instrumentation was strong in number and was also supposed to be so in Haydn’s conception: “My composition is written on a grand scale, he said, thus it will only succeed and have the requisite impact with a large and well-rehearsed orchestra.” Smaller, generally private performances under his direction were exceptions. If concert organisers today are satisfied with chamber orchestras, then it speaks for the dignified substance of the composition, but fails to reflect Haydn’s intentions. The Viennese material for the orchestral parts shows how the number of 180 musicians came together. From the number and numbering of the pieces of sheet music there are approximately 40 wind instruments, 70 strings and – less certainly – 64 singers, together with the three soloists, the choir director at the piano and Haydn as conductor, thus resulting in 180 participants. In total, unlike today, nearly all wind instruments had two and three chairs. This was usual at that time: Francesco Galeazzi taught in his Elementi teorecopratici di musica (Rome 1791) that the wind instruments had to be doubled if the number of the violins exceeded 16; with a performance of The Creation in the theatre in Frankfurt a. M. on Good Friday in1811 the orchestra was “very large,” “the wind instruments doubled”; at a performance in Düsseldorf in 1818 with an orchestra of 96 musicians the wind instruments, horns and trumpets were doubled. Under Haydn’s direction only the places marked “solo” or “p” were likely to have been played by a single performer, like today. Beethoven required this in instruction No. 8 dated December 1815 for the performance of his Victory Symphony from the Battle of Vittoria Op. 91, which he wanted to see played in two harmonies: “But the second harmony did not play with the pianos or solos.” The Viennese sheet music specifically contains nine parts each for first and second violins, six for viola and eleven for violoncello e basso, with one part designated number 12 and one which is very difficult to read designated as no. 17 among the latter. For comparable performances by the Tonkünstler Sozietät this was not unusual – 18 first, 18 second violins, 12 violas and an unspecified number of celli and contrabasses. Originally there had to be at least 13 violoncello e basso parts, for the eleven parts still extant feature tacit markings in the secco recitative; thus the exemplars for the continuo players witnessed by Berwald are missing: a cellist and a contrabassist. Several parts may have been for three players each, as is visible on the seating plan for a performance of The Creation in the Imperial and Royal Winter Riding School on 5/7.11.1837: one contrabassist stands behind two cellists and reads from their parts, while other contrabassists stand on their own. If we assume similar circumstances for 1799, then there could have been five parts each consisting of two cellists and a contrabassist, six parts each with a contrabassist and one with one of the two continuo players; this results in eleven cellists and twelve contrabassists. The 38 traditionally complete parts (most corrected in Haydn’s own hand) are called the first, second and third “harmony” and require 40 musicians. The wind instrument and horn parts (with the exception of 3 solo flutes) have three musicians each(one “obligato”, two “ripieno”), the trumpets and timpani have two musicians, only the contrabassoon and the three trombones have one musician (duplicates of trombones 1 and 2 carry the remark “surplus”). At least 16 tenor parts were available from the chorus in 1804 (Nos. 5, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 16 have been preserved). There is also a bass part No.7 (oldest number with red pen). If 16 vocals are assumed for the bass as well as for the soprano and altos (whose sheet music has been lost), this yields a chorus of 64 singers.

Arrangement and Direction

The arrangement depicted by Berwald is similar to the performances of the oratorios at Covent Garden and Drury Lane Theatre in London in 1793; at Haydn’s own London concerts the arrangement was also said to be in the form of an amphitheatre, and with regard to a court concert directed by Salieri on 23.12.1814 on the occasion of the Vienna Congress it is said: “The orchestra was elevated in the form of an amphitheatre.” All of the reports probably mean a “terrace-shaped concert orchestra,” as is described for the Dresden stage in 1844. Based on the Viennese sheet music, the changes suggested by Paul Wranitzky in 1796 for the arrangement at the concerts of the Tonkünstler Sozietät in the Burgtheater and based on graphic evidence of other performances, the arrangement of the musical forces involved at the performance on 19.3.1799 can be imagined as depicted in the reconstructive attempt on the following pages. The broad orchestra pit was covered over. On the enclosure near the listeners were the three vocal soloists, and behind them Kapellmeister Weigl at the fortepiano; in direct proximity to Weigl and for his support in accompanying the secco recitative, a violoncello and a contrabass; to the right and left of this core group and to be kept in time by the rhythm of the fortepiano, the chorus, which was apparently smaller than the orchestra in all the early performances of The Creation in Vienna, but was positioned in front of the orchestra. As at the performances of the Tonkünstler Sozietät at this time, it is likely to have largely consisted of professional singers from the Hofmusikkapelle and other Viennese church choruses as well as the court choir boys and the choir boys at Stephansdom, Piaristenkirche, Michaelerkirche and at the Schottenstift. Choruses with women’s voices were not yet on the agenda; at Salomon’s London performances of The Creation in 1800 “the young gentlemen,” namely the boys from the Royal Chapel and the choristers form St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, performed in the choruses. The boys still singing in 1835 in Vienna were supported by girls and women’s vocals at a big performance in 1837, but performed together with women’s voices until at least 1870. Behind the choir was the “step machine,” the “orchestral scaffolding.” On the first level stood Haydn with baton in hand, conducting with both hands, probably with his face to the public, as was usual until on into the first half of the 19th century. This position would explain why as listeners Griesinger and Silverstolpe were able to comment on Haydn’s facial expressions. The strings were placed on the second level. As was usual in the concerts with large orchestras at the Burgtheater, the violins probably sat on long benches placed one behind the other in rows: on the right side in three rows the first violins under Paul Wranitzky as the first violin or orchestra conductor, on the left in three rows the second violins under Anton Wranitzky as second violin conductor. Paul Wranitzky is said to have had “all the qualities of a good conductor, a beautiful, powerful coup d`archet, the proper specification and maintenance of tempo, fire, clarity and delicacy in execution.” (Anonymous, July 1800). There was also three-way conducting, as was still normal at large performances in Vienna later: by the first violinist, the choral director at the piano and the actual conductor. In the middle behind the violins were the violas, violoncelli and contrabasses; on the right and left margin in rows from the front to the rear additional contrabasses; one level higher there were four trumpets with two pairs of timpani, possibly arranged in two groups, and three trombones. As Haydn mistrusted the capacity of other musicians to carry out his intentions based simply on the score, he wanted to have a page printed with performance instructions and send it to all the big cities. Evidently he never went through with it, but he issued (now missing) instructions for Salomon in London and for the first performance in Paris. Salomon points out in newspaper advertisements that he was favoured by Dr. Haydn “with particular instructions on the style and manner in which [the oratorio] ought to be executed in order to bring forth the effects required by the author.” Prior to the premiere in Paris it was announced that the orchestra would be arranged on stage based on the instructions provided by Haydn; for this reason no unknown person would be allowed to take a seat on stage, as was otherwise usual at concerts.

Vocal Soloists

At the performances under Haydn’s direction only three soloists were ever mentioned, while in London in 1800 under John Ashley there were nine (four women, four men and a boy) – on 28.2.1801 in Hamburg (three women, three tenors and three basses) – and under Salomon six soloists performance (two sopranos for the parts of Gabriel and Eve and four men). After a performance in 1804 in Frankfurt a. M. With nine soloists critics wrote that this way “the angel Raphael was forced to speak in a multitude of voices and dialects,” (Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, 9.5.1804). At the Paris performance of 1844 the three parts for the archangels were divided between two alternating soloists, whereby a recitative and the subsequent aria were sung by the same vocal type or by the same soloist; the parts of Adam and Eve were assigned to two additional soloists; the ninth soloist probably sang the alto vocal in the closing chorus. On 5.1.1801 and at later performances in Berlin five soloists performed: in addition to the tenor for Uriel there were two sopranos for Gabriel and Eve and two basses for Raphael and Adam. Today it is frequently done this way as well. Usually Adam’s part is given to a baritone, Raphael’s part to a bass. That the three solo vocal parts in the Viennese and Budapest vocal scores also contain the choruses probably meant it was recommended that they also sing, if desired. This does not have to occur everywhere, but it is strange if after their final coloratura the soloists sound remote rather than a part of the rejoicing in the closing chorus.

1. Bild / 1. Tag

Nr. 1
OUVERTURE Die Vorstellung des Chaos

Nr. 2
Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde; und die Erde war ohne Form
und leer; und Finsterniß war auf der Fläche der Tiefe.

Und der Geist Gottes schwebte auf der Fläche der Wasser; und Gott sprach:
Es werde Licht, und es ward Licht.

Und Gott sah das Licht, dass es gut war; und Gott schied das Licht von der Finsterniß.

Nr. 3
Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle
Des schwarzen Dunkels gräuliche Schatten;
Der erste Tag entstand.
Verwirrung weicht, und Ordnung keimt empor.
Erstarrt entflieht der Höllengeister Schaar
In des Abgrunds Tiefen hinab,
Zur ewigen Nacht.
Verzweiflung, Wuth und Schrecken
Begleiten ihren Sturz.
Und eine neue Welt
Entspringt auf Gottes Wort.

2. Bild / 2. Tag
Nr. 4
Und Gott machte das Firmament, und theilte die Wasser, die unter dem
Firmament waren, von den Gewässern, die ober dem Firmament waren,
und es ward so.
Mit Begleitung:
Da tobten brausend heftige Stürme;
Wie Spreu vor dem Winde, so flogen die Wolken.
Die Luft durchschnitten feurige Blitze,
Und schrecklich rollten die Donner umher.
Der Fluth entstieg auf sein Geheiß
Der all erquickende Regen,
Der all verheerende Schauer,
Der leichte, flockige Schnee.

Nr. 5
Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk
Der Himmelsbürger frohe Schaar,
Und laut ertönt aus ihren Kehlen
Des Schöpfers Lob,
Das Lob des zweyten Tags.
Und laut ertönt aus ihren Kehlen
Des Schöpfers Lob,
Das Lob des zweyten Tags.

3. Bild / 3. Tag
Nr. 6
Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser unter dem Himmel zusammen
an einem Platz, und es erscheine das trockne Land; und es ward so. Und
Gott nannte das trockne Land: Erde, und die Sammlung der Wasser nannte
er Meer; und Gott sah, dass es gut war.

Nr. 7
Rollend in schäumenden Wellen
Bewegt sich ungestüm das Meer.
Hügel und Felsen erscheinen;
Der Berge Gipfel steigt empor.
Die Fläche, weit gedehnt, durchläuft
Der breite Strohm in mancher Krümme.
Leise rauschend gleitet fort
Im stillen Thal der helle Bach.

4. Bild
Nr. 8
Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor, Kräuter, die Samen geben,
und Obstbäume, die Früchte bringen ihrer Art gemäß, die ihren Samen in
sich selbst haben auf der Erde; und es ward so.

Nr. 9
Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün
Dem Auge zur Ergetzung dar;
Den anmuthsvollen Blick erhöh’t
Der Blumen sanfter Schmuck.
Hier düften Kräuter Balsam aus;
Hier sproßt den Wunden Heil.
Die Zweige krümmt der gold’nen Früchte Last;
Hier wölbt der Hain zum kühlen Schirme sich;
Den steilen Berg bekrönt ein dichter Wald.

5. Bild
Nr. 10
Und die himmlischen Heerschaaren verkündigten den dritten Tag, Gott
preisend und sprechend:

Nr. 11
Stimmt an die Saiten, ergreift die Leyer!
Laßt euer Lobgesang erschallen!
Frohlocket dem Herrn, dem mächtigen Gott!
Denn er hat Himmel und Erde bekleidet
In herrlicher Pracht.

6. Bild / 4. Tag
Nr. 12
Und Gott sprach: Es seyn Lichter an der Feste des Himmels, um den Tag
von der Nacht zu scheiden, und Licht auf der Erde zu geben; und es seyn
diese für Zeichen und für Zeiten, und für Tage, und für Jahre. Er machte
die Sterne gleichfalls.

Nr. 13
In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt
Die Sonne strahlend auf;
Ein wonnevoller Bräutigam,
Ein Riese stolz und froh
Zu rennen seine Bahn.
Nach dem Zeitmasse. (â tempo):
Mit leisem Gang und sanftem Schimmer schleicht
Der Mond die stille Nacht hindurch.
Nach Willkühr. (ad libitum):
Den ausgedehnten Himmelsraum
Ziert ohne Zahl der hellen Sterne Gold.
Und die Söhne Gottes verkündigten den vierten Tag mit himmlischem
Gesang, seine Macht ausrufend also:

Nr. 14
Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes;
Und seiner Hände Werk zeigt an das Firmament.
Dem kommenden Tage sagt es der Tag;
Die Nacht, die verschwand, der folgenden Nacht.
Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes;
Und seiner Hände Werk zeigt an das Firmament.
In alle Welt ergeht das Wort,
Jedem Ohre klingend,
Keiner Zunge fremd.
Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes;
Und seiner Hände Werk zeigt an das Firmament.

Teil II
7. Bild / 5. Tag
Nr. 15
Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser in der Fülle hervor webende
Geschöpfe, die Leben haben, und Vögel, die über der Erde fliegen mögen
in dem offenen Firmamente des Himmels.

Nr. 16
Auf starkem Fittige schwinget sich
Der Adler stolz, und theilet die Luft
Im schnellesten Fluge zur Sonne hin.
Den Morgen grüßt der Lerche frohes Lied,
Und Liebe girrt das zarte Taubenpaar.
Aus jedem Busch und Hain erschallt
Der Nachtigallen süsse Kehle.
Noch drückte Gram nicht ihre Brust,
Noch war zur Klage nicht gestimmt
Ihr reitzender Gesang.

8. Bild
Nr. 17
Und Gott schuf große Wallfische und ein jedes lebende Geschöpf, das sich
beweget, und Gott segnete sie, sprechend:
Nach dem Zeitmasse. (a tempo) [mit Begleitung]:
Seyd fruchtbar alle, mehret euch!
Bewohner der Luft, vermehret euch,
Und singt auf jedem Aste!
Mehret euch, ihr Fluthenbewohner,
Und füllet jede Tiefe!
Seyd fruchtbar, wachset, mehret euch!
Erfreuet euch in eurem Gott!

Nr. 18
Nach Willkühr. (ad libitum):
Und die Engel rührten ihr’ unsterblichen Harfen, und sangen die Wunder des fünften Tags.

Nr. 19
In holder Anmuth steh’n,
Mit jungem Grün geschmückt,
Die wogichten Hügel da.
Aus ihren Adern quillt,
In fliessendem Kristall,
Der kühlende Bach hervor.
In frohen Kreisen schwebt,
Sich wiegend in der Luft,
Der munteren Vögel Schaar.
Den bunten Federglanz
Erhöh’t im Wechselflug
Das goldene Sonnenlicht.
Das helle Naß durchblitzt
Der Fisch, und windet sich
In stätem Gewühl’ umher.
Vom tiefsten Meeresgrund
Wälzt sich Leviathan
Auf schäumender Well’ empor.
Wie viel sind deiner Werk’, o Gott!
Wer fasset ihre Zahl?

Nr. 20
Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht,
Und ewig bleibt sein Ruhm.

9. Bild / 6. Tag
Nr. 21
Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor lebende Geschöpfe nach ihrer
Art: Vieh, und kriechendes Gewürm, und Thiere der Erde nach ihren Gattungen.

Nr. 22
Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoß,
Und sie gebiert auf Gottes Wort
Geschöpfe jeder Art,
In vollem Wuchs’ und ohne Zahl.
Vor Freude brüllend steht der Löwe da.
Hier schießt der gelenkige Tyger empor.
Das zackig Haupt erhebt der schnelle Hirsch.
Mit fliegender Mähne springt und wieh’rt,
Voll Muth und Kraft, das edle Roß.
Auf grünen Matten weidet schon
Das Rind, in Heerden abgetheilt.
Die Triften deckt, als wie gesä’t,
Das wollenreiche, sanfte Schaf.
Wie Staub verbreitet sich
In Schwarm und Wirbel das Heer der Insekte.
In langen Zügen kriecht
Am Boden das Gewürm.

Nr. 23
Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel;
Nun prangt in ihrem Schmucke die Erde.
Die Luft erfüllt das leichte Gefieder;
Die Wässer schwellt der Fische Gewimmel;
Den Boden drückt der Thiere Last.
Doch war noch alles nicht vollbracht.
Dem Ganzen fehlte das Geschöpf,
Das Gottes Werke dankbar seh’n,
Des Herren Güte preisen soll.

10. Bild
Nr. 24
Und Gott schuf den Menschen nach seinem Ebenbilde. Nach dem Eben-
bilde Gottes schuf er ihn. Mann und Weib erschuf er sie. Den Athem des
Lebens hauchte er in sein Angesicht, und der Mensch wurde zur lebendigen

Nr. 25
Mit Würd’ und Hoheit angethan,
Mit Schönheit, Stärk’ und Muth
Gen Himmel aufgerichtet, steht
Der Mensch,
Ein Mann, und König der Natur.
Die breit gewölbt’ erhab’ne Stirn
Verkünd’t der Weisheit tiefen Sinn,
Und aus dem hellen Blicke strahlt
Der Geist,
Des Schöpfers Hauch und Ebenbild.
An seinen Busen schmieget sich,
Für ihn, aus ihm geformt,
Die Gattinn hold und anmuthsvoll.
In froher Unschuld lächelt sie,
Des Frühlings reitzend Bild,
Ihm Liebe, Glück und Wonne zu.

11. Bild
Nr. 26
Und Gott sah jedes Ding, was er gemacht hatte; und es war sehr gut; und
der himmlische Chor feyerte das Ende des sechsten Tages mit lautem

Nr. 27
Vollendet ist das große Werk;
Der Schöpfer sieht’s und freuet sich.
Auch uns’re Freud’ erschalle laut!
Des Herren Lob sey unser Lied!

Nr. 28
Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf;
Um Speise fleht dich alles an.
Du öffnest deine Hand,
Gesättigt werden sie.
Du wendest ab dein Angesicht;
Da bebet alles und erstarrt.
Du nimmst den Odem weg;
In Staub zerfallen sie.
Den Odem hauchst du wieder aus,
Und neues Leben sproßt hervor.
Verjüngt ist die Gestalt
Der Erd’ an Reitz und Kraft.

Nr. 29
Vollendet ist das große Werk.
Des Herren Lob sey unser Lied!
Alles lobe seinen Nahmen;
Denn er allein ist hoch erhaben,

12. Bild / 7. Tag

Nr. 30
Aus Rosenwolken bricht,
Geweckt durch süssen Klang,
Der Morgen jung und schön.
Vom himmlischen Gewölbe
Ströhmt reine Harmonie
Zur Erde hinab.
Seht das beglückte Paar,
Wie Hand in Hand es geht!
Aus ihren Blicken strahlt
Des heissen Danks Gefühl.
Bald singt in lautem Ton
Ihr Mund des Schöpfers Lob.
Laßt uns’re Stimme dann
Sich mengen in ihr Lied!

Nr. 31
Duett und Chor
1. Abschnitt
Von deiner Güt’, o Herr und Gott,
Ist Erd’ und Himmel voll.
Die Welt, so groß, so wunderbar,
Ist deiner Hände Werk.
Gesegnet sey des Herren Macht!
Sein Lob erschall’ in Ewigkeit!
2. Abschnitt
Der Sterne hell’ster, o wie schön
Verkündest du den Tag!
Wie schmückst du ihn, o Sonne,
Des Weltalls Seel’ und Aug!
Macht kund auf eurer weiten Bahn
Des Herren Macht und seinen
Und du, der Nächte Zierd’ und
Und all das strahlend Heer,
Verbreitet überall sein Lob
In eurem Chorgesang!
Ihr Elemente, deren Kraft
Stäts neue Formen zeugt,
Ihr Dünst’ und Nebel, die der
Versammelt und vertreibt,
Lobsinget alle Gott dem Herrn!
Lobsinget alle Gott dem Herrn!
Groß, wie sein Nahm’, ist seine
Sanft rauschend lobt, o Quellen, ihn!
Den Wipfel neigt ihr Bäum’!
Ihr Pflanzen düftet, Blumen haucht
Ihm euren Wohlgeruch!
Ihr, deren Pfad die Höh’n
Und ihr, die niedrig kriecht,
Ihr, deren Flug die Luft
Und ihr, im tiefen Naß,
Ihr Thiere preiset alle Gott!
Ihr Thiere preiset alle Gott!
Ihn lobe, was nur Odem hat!
Ihr dunk’len Hain’, ihr Berg’ und
Ihr Zeugen uns’res Danks;
Ertönen sollt ihr früh und spät
Von uns’rem Lobgesang!
3. Abschnitt
Heil dir, o Gott! O Schöpfer, Heil!
Aus deinem Wort’ entstand die
Dich bethen Erd’ und Himmel an;
Wir preisen dich in Ewigkeit.

13. Bild
Nr. 32
Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt;
Dem Schöpfer haben wir gedankt.
Nun folge mir, Gefährtinn meines Lebens!
Ich leite dich, und jeder Schritt
Weckt neue Freud’ in uns’rer Brust,
Zeigt Wunder überall.
Erkennen sollst du dann,
Welch’ unausprechlich Glück
Der Herr uns zugedacht,
Ihn preisen immerdar,
Ihm weihen Herz und Sinn.
Komm, folge mir! Ich leite dich.
O du, für den ich ward!
Mein Schirm, mein Schild, mein All!
Dein Will’ ist mir Gesetz.
So hat’s der Herr bestimmt,
Und dir gehorchen bringt
Mir Freude, Glück und Ruhm.

Nr. 33
Holde Gattinn! Dir zur Seite
Fliessen sanft die Stunden hin.
Jeder Augenblick ist Wonne;
Keine Sorge trübet sie.
Theurer Gatte! Dir zur Seite
Schwimmt in Freuden mir das Herz.
Dir gewidmet ist mein Leben;
Deine Liebe sey mein Lohn.
Der thauende Morgen,
O wie ermuntert er!
Die Kühle des Abends,
O wie erquicket sie!
Wie labend ist
Der runden Früchte Saft!
Wie reitzend ist
Der Blumen süsse[r] Duft!
Doch ohne dich, was wäre mir
Der Morgenthau,
Der Abendhauch,
Der Früchte Saft,
Der Blumen Duft!
Mit dir erhöht sich jede Freude,
Mit dir genieߒ ich doppelt sie;
Mit dir ist Seligkeit das Leben;
Dir sey es ganz geweiht.

14. Bild
Nr. 34
O glücklich Paar, und glücklich immerfort,
Wenn falscher Wahn euch nicht verführt
Noch mehr zu wünschen, als ihr habt,
Und mehr zu wissen, als ihr sollt!

Nr. 35
Singt dem Herren, alle Stimmen!
Dankt ihm, alle seine Werke!
Laßt zu Ehren seines Nahmens
Lob im Wettgesang erschallen!
Des Herren Ruhm, er bleibt in Ewigkeit.
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