Haydn's Creation is one of the great masterpieces of the classical period. This absorbing and original account of the work provides an indispensable guide for the concert-goer, performer and student alike.
The author places the work within the oratorio tradition, bearing in mind its intended early audiences in both Austria and England, and he contrasts the theological and literary character of the English libretto with the Viennese milieu of the first performances.
The complete text is provided in both English and German versions as a reference point for discussion of the design of the work and the musical treatment of the words, including questions of Haydn's pictorialism. A more detailed musical chapter examines the work through the movement types it employs -- arias and ensembles, recitatives and choruses -- distinguishing the Handelian model from Haydn's own classical idiom.
Nicholas Temperley also discusses the changing performance traditions of this work and surveys the critical reception throughout its history. In a useful appendix he quotes from the most significant critical literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
"...the book is rich with information drawn from old writings and from new research and combined into one volume for the first time. Some of the information contained in the book will be eye-opening even for the experienced choral conductor well-acquainted with The Creation. However, the book is also written in a way that also makes it accessible to the novice musician." Richard Clemmitt, The Choral Journal "Nicholas Temperley's excellent short book Haydn: The Creation answers all the questions a non-specialized listener is likely to have." Joseph McLellan, Washington Post