Haydn: "The Creation," Recitative and Chorus - MO, HKOS conducted by Veiga Jardim

Haydn - The Creation, Recitative and Chorus. - MO, HKOS conducted by Veiga Jardim

Recitative (Rapahel, Uriel) and Chorus: "In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth"

Ge Xi (tenor), Chen Xiao Qun (soprano), Yuan Chen Ye (bass), The Hong Kong Oratorio Society, Macao Orchestra and Veiga Jardim, harpsichord and conductor.

Handel is perhaps the first composer to match the baroque scale and texture of Miton's verse effectively. Even though Handel does not set Paradise Lost to music, many episodes in his "Samson" do achieve an epic scale as seen in other clips. However, another epic musical work is partly derived from Milton: Haydn's "The Creation", as Brian Robins has asserted: "The libretto of 'The Creation' is based in part on the first book of Genesis, but largely on John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.' In particular it focuses on Book VII, which deals with God's Creation of the world, and His filling it with living creatures, as related by the archangel Raphael to Adam" (see "Haydn's Late Oratorios: 'The Creation' and 'The Seasons'"). Like all librettos, Haydn's greatly compresses the relevant text: the Milton passage is Paradise Lost, VII. 232-60:

Thus God the Heav'n created, thus the Earth,
Matter unform'd and void: Darkness profound
Cover'd th' Abyss: but on the watrie calme
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspred,
And vital vertue infus'd, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid Mass, but downward purg'd
The black tartareous cold infernal dregs
Adverse to life: then founded, then conglob'd
Like things to like, the rest to several place
Disparted, and between spun out the Air,
And Earth self-ballanc't on her Center hung.

Let ther be Light, said God, and forthwith Light
Ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure
Sprung from the Deep, and from her Native East
To journie through the airie gloom began,
Sphear'd in a radiant Cloud, for yet the Sun
Was not; shee in a cloudie Tabernacle
Sojourn'd the while. God saw the Light was good;
And light from darkness by the Hemisphere
Divided: Light the Day, and Darkness Night
He nam'd. Thus was the first Day Eev'n and Morn:
Nor past uncelebrated, nor unsung
By the Celestial Quires, when Orient Light
Exhaling first from Darkness they beheld;
Birth-day of Heav'n and Earth; with joy and shout
The hollow Universal Orb they fill'd,
And touch't thir Golden Harps, & hymning prais'd
God and his works, Creatour him they sung,
Both when first Eevning was, and when first Morn.



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