Haydn – Die Schöpfung


Haydn visited England in the years 1791-92. There he heard one or more Händel oratorios, and it inspired him to do the same large scale affair in Vienna. The result is The Creation, and it premiered in 1799 in the Burgtheater in Vienna.

The work was based on the book of Genesis, some psalms and Milton’s Paradise Lost. It tells the story of the creation of the world. An earlier version of it was offered to Händel, but he didn’t want it, thinking it would be too long.

An English translated version, awkwardly translated by Haydn’s librettist was premiered in 1800 at Covent Garden in London. Librettist Van Zwieten was not a native speaker, resulting in some weird phrases. Modern performances in English speaking countries get around this issue by performing it in the original German.

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