Apr. 11th, 2014

silverflight8: watercolour wash with white paper stars (stars in the sky)
SO to start with The Creation (Die Schöpfung): it is currently my favourite.

I really like Haydn in the first place. I played some of his sonatas (I also really like sonatas, though it took me awhile to warm up to them--I liked the drama of Romantic composers when I was younger) and I'd studied parts of The Creation as part of music history. And of course there are some really famous pieces by him it's hard to miss--the Surprise symphony!

Hadyn makes me smile because he's totally playing tricks on the audience and the performers, laughing a little bit behind the scenes. In many ways, the music is quite symmetrical and classical. There are a lot of choral entries which feature each voice part singing the same melody, just one measure offset; he repeats measures in the classical structure; his sonatas follow the usual introduction-development-recapitulation; his melodies and harmonies are very tonal. But he loves springing little surprises onto you. Just as you think you have learned the part and that it will repeat for a second phrase, it suddenly isn't the same; it's been subtly tweaked just enough to produce a different sound. That part you thought would repeat four times is actually two repeats and three variations, joke's on you, sight-reader! (If you're not sure which one is the Surprise symphony, it's the one that starts out very quiet and then has the orchestra blast a shock chord to wake you up. It's so great. A+ would recommend.)

about The Creation and word painting )

My favourite parts are of course the choral ones, because I'm most familiar with them. I think if I tried to write about all 34 movements (of which we omitted a few), this would be way too long, and in fact it's already very long. I have included the music in youtube videos--there are three vids, and I didn't want to embed each all over the place so I've just provided start times for the pieces.

First Movement )

Second Movement )

We broke for intermission at this point, mostly for the benefit of the conductor and the orchestra; the choir got to sit (thank you) and really only did commentary. We weren't entirely holding up the show, this time!

Third Movement )

tl;dr: I was really excited to sing the Creation when I found out in September, and now that I have, I love the whole piece like burning. LOVE.

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