|Sunday Nov 6th 2016
|Royal Northern College of Music
|Creation is Haydn’s best-known oratorio and is regarded by some as his masterpiece. The music is elegant and tuneful and overflows with joy. Haydn wrote “When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen; and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it will be pardoned me that I serve him with a cheerful spirit”. The work is very popular with singers and audiences alike.
|The libretto is derived from the Old Testament books of Genesis and Psalms and from Milton’s Paradise Lost. Haydn was well-known in England and had made two long visits to London in the 1790s. He composed the music to a German translation from the English original, and the first performance was in Vienna in 1798. However the work was published in 1800 in both German (Die Schopfung) and in English (Creation), and the English version premiered at Covent Garden in 1800. Both were immediately popular and frequently performed. The biblical passages conform closely to the English King James version rather than to any German translation.
|Parts 1 and 2 of the work describe the Creation of the World in seven days. The third part describes the joyful meeting of Adam and Eve.
|This concert was a great success; knowledgeable members of the audience thought it was one of the choir’s best performances for some time. Certainly it was a delight to rehearse and perform this wonderful work with great soloists and orchestra.A much-feted member of the audience was Eva Dale who completed over 60 years service in the sopranos before being laid low by a stroke several months ago. She still managed to sell the first ticket for the concert from her hospital bed and reportedly joined in the singing of “The Heavens are Telling” from her wheelchair in the front row.
Stuart Ferguson has kindly provided the following review which also appeared in the Oldham Chronicle:
The Big-Bang Theory became hard fact last night as Oldham Choral Society, and the East Lancs Sinfonia presented Haydn’s The Creation at the RNCM.Haydn’s work begins with the chord of C and that resonated throughout the work and throughout the concert hall as the choir, soloists and orchestra all combined to give a gloriously moving, power-packed performance.
Leonard Bernstein said that the Representation of Chaos was ‘one of the supreme dramatizations of our time’. Under the creative and energetic baton of Nigel P. Wilkinson this organised chaos became a thing of controlled wonder as the making of the earth and its occupants unfolded.
The 108-strong choir and 27-member orchestra were on top of the job. Perhaps freed from the minor chords of many of the Society’s recent Requiems they proved that a different key makes a huge difference to mood and the audience responded with enthusiastic appreciation.
The soloists, Linda Richardson (soprano), Simon Crosby-Buttle (tenor) and Dean Robinson (bass), gave powerful performances of the main characters as we ranged from God and his creative angels, discussing the finer points of each day’s work, to Adam and Eve engaging in an operatic love-duet.
The performance used the original Novello edition, which, when published in London, was the first example of a bilingual edition. In the reading there are some tortured lyrics but in the singing all melded together into an uplifting performance that proved this work has stood the test of time.
Other evolutionary theories have been propounded since Haydn’s time but his Creation still stands as the supreme musical masterpiece. Oldham Choral Society and friends proved it last night. An excellent, vibrant performance that will be remembered for longer than six days.
|Click here to view the concert programme.
|Linda Richardson – Soprano
|Dean Robinson – Bass
|Simon Crosby Buttle – Tenor
|East Lancs Sinfonia
|Nigel P Wilkinson
Tickets at £15 (students £5, accompanied children £1) were available from:
– Our ticket secretary on 01457 875 221
– The RNCM Box Office 0161 907 5555 or online using their web site
– or via members of the choir