Sat 8 Jul
8:30pm | St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Listen to Haydn's "The Creation", one of the great musical masterpieces of the Viennese classical period with the Vienna Cathedral Orchestra.
Written between 1796 and 1798, the oratorio takes as its theme the creation of the world as explained in Genesis, with the praise of God at its center.
Joseph Haydn, then already over sixty, was greatly inspired by this theme. However, working on this work turned out to be particularly difficult for him and brought the composer to the limits of his physical as well as artistic strength. Above all, the religious aspect of the work put him under pressure. He therefore worked with the utmost care and fear of God. Later he once confessed: "I was also never so pious as during the time I was working on Creation; daily I fell down on my knees and asked God to give me strength for the successful execution of this work."
The first performance took place in 1798 before a private - mostly aristocratic - audience in the palace of Prince Joseph Schwarzenberg in Vienna; the public premiere did not take place until a year later at the Vienna Court Theater. There, 120 instrumentalists and 60 singers were employed. Both premieres were grandiose successes. Even the first sounds, depicting the chaos from which God created the earth, went beyond the scope of music known at the time. The work experienced a worldwide triumphal success. It was frequently performed again during Haydn's lifetime, and it was not long before the exceptional status of the work was appreciated throughout Europe. The three soloists represent the archangels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, who narrate and comment on the six days of creation.
Under the direction of Gerald Wirth, President and Artistic Director of the Vienna Boys' Choir, the masterpiece will be intensively worked on by choir singers from around the world in several workshops as part of the Sing Along! Choir Festival. The crowning finale is the performance with renowned soloists and the Vienna Cathedral Orchestra in St. Stephen's Cathedral.