Creation evolving with choir and orchestra

THE choruses in the Gisborne Choral Society’s upcoming performance of classical composer Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, are nearly always in the nature of shouts of joy, says conductor Gavin Maclean.

Because they “add up to quite an Olympic exercise” the choir has been able to develop their fitness.

“The Creation will be a joyous and confident show, thanks to the long rehearsal period. The choir has been able to move from learning the notes to interpretation, and has had extra rehearsals with the orchestra.”

In its day The Creation was a breakthrough in imaginative orchestration, says Maclean. Haydn created various sounds and effects as aspects of the world come into being.

“The work continues to provide musicians with great satisfaction, and a huge number of notes to play. The orchestra will be augmented with brass and percussion, and two professional players from Hawke’s Bay.”

These are cellist Paula Sugden and oboist Julian Pook.

Maclean last conducted the work from the same score in 1982.

“I suspect I just waved my arms around and hoped for the best.”

He conducted The Creation again in 1995 and will tackle it again in November.

“There is much to discover in the score,” he says.

“I spend hours rubbing out the pencil-marks of other impresarios. The composer’s notes are more visible if not accentuated with needless reminders.”

The choir has also put time into preparations for a concert of lesser-known and historical Christmas music for December, he says.

“That ought to shake a bit more plaster off the St Andrew’s walls.”


THE choruses in the Gisborne Choral Society’s upcoming performance of classical composer Joseph Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, are nearly always in the nature of shouts of joy, says conductor Gavin Maclean.

Because they “add up to quite an Olympic exercise” the choir has been able to develop their fitness.

“The Creation will be a joyous and confident show, thanks to the long rehearsal period. The choir has been able to move from learning the notes to interpretation, and has had extra rehearsals with the orchestra.”

In its day The Creation was a breakthrough in imaginative orchestration, says Maclean. Haydn created various sounds and effects as aspects of the world come into being.

“The work continues to provide musicians with great satisfaction, and a huge number of notes to play. The orchestra will be augmented with brass and percussion, and two professional players from Hawke’s Bay.”

These are cellist Paula Sugden and oboist Julian Pook.

Maclean last conducted the work from the same score in 1982.

“I suspect I just waved my arms around and hoped for the best.”

He conducted The Creation again in 1995 and will tackle it again in November.

“There is much to discover in the score,” he says.

“I spend hours rubbing out the pencil-marks of other impresarios. The composer’s notes are more visible if not accentuated with needless reminders.”

The choir has also put time into preparations for a concert of lesser-known and historical Christmas music for December, he says.

“That ought to shake a bit more plaster off the St Andrew’s walls.”


Accompanied by the Gisborne Civic Orchestra, the Gisborne Choral Society performs Haydn’s masterpiece, The Creation, at St Andrew’s Church on October 29 at 2pm.

The choir will perform lesser-known and historical Christmas music at St Andrew’s on December 8.

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