The Creation has its genesis on stage

Haydn’s epic work comes to light in Gisborne.

Haydn’s epic work comes to light in Gisborne.

IN THE BEGINNING: Conductor Gavin Maclean (left), the Gisborne Choral Society and Gisborne Civic Orchestra rehearse for their concert presentation on Sunday of Josef Haydn’s epic work, The Creation. Picture by Mark Peters

IMAGINE sitting down with a scratchy quill pen to write music for the history of the universe, says conductor Gavin Maclean of Josef Haydn’s epic work, The Creation.

The 18th century composer’s palette was a choir, solo singers and all the colours of an orchestra. This often entailed writing fifteen lines of notes to sound simultaneously.

“That is how Haydn produced The Creation. In 1798 it became the first great international hit. This was at a time when music tended to stick within national borders. After Handel’s Messiah it is still the second-most popular work of its type.”

On Sunday the Gisborne Choral Society brings this mighty work to life in its biggest concert of the year. Conducted by Maclean, the choir will be accompanied by the Gisborne Civic Orchestra and guest players that include professional Hawke’s Bay musicians such as Julian Pook (oboe) and Paula Sugden (cello).

Three renowned singers, Gisborne’s Catherine Macdonald and Hawke’s Bay’s Frank Carter and Joseph Christensen, will tell the story.

“Haydn’s libretto started off from Milton’s poem Paradise Lost, went into German, and finally into English again,” says Maclean.

“Variety is of the essence. The solo singing includes arias, duets, trios, and combination with the choir.

“The orchestral variety, which stunned eighteenth-century audiences brings order out of chaos, and light out of darkness. This is something that makes sense for everyone, either biblically or as the epoch, about 150 years after the big bang, when the universe became transparent.”

The oratorio, a large musical work for orchestra, choir, and soloists, then portrays in rough evolutionary order, sun, moon, weather, waves, plants, birds, animals, and humans.

“Each phase is celebrated by the powerful chorus in outbursts of joy. With resounding brass and the full orchestra, the concert provides a thrilling experience in Gisborne’s most resonant concert venue, St Andrew’s Church.”

IMAGINE sitting down with a scratchy quill pen to write music for the history of the universe, says conductor Gavin Maclean of Josef Haydn’s epic work, The Creation.

The 18th century composer’s palette was a choir, solo singers and all the colours of an orchestra. This often entailed writing fifteen lines of notes to sound simultaneously.

“That is how Haydn produced The Creation. In 1798 it became the first great international hit. This was at a time when music tended to stick within national borders. After Handel’s Messiah it is still the second-most popular work of its type.”

On Sunday the Gisborne Choral Society brings this mighty work to life in its biggest concert of the year. Conducted by Maclean, the choir will be accompanied by the Gisborne Civic Orchestra and guest players that include professional Hawke’s Bay musicians such as Julian Pook (oboe) and Paula Sugden (cello).

Three renowned singers, Gisborne’s Catherine Macdonald and Hawke’s Bay’s Frank Carter and Joseph Christensen, will tell the story.

“Haydn’s libretto started off from Milton’s poem Paradise Lost, went into German, and finally into English again,” says Maclean.

“Variety is of the essence. The solo singing includes arias, duets, trios, and combination with the choir.

“The orchestral variety, which stunned eighteenth-century audiences brings order out of chaos, and light out of darkness. This is something that makes sense for everyone, either biblically or as the epoch, about 150 years after the big bang, when the universe became transparent.”

The oratorio, a large musical work for orchestra, choir, and soloists, then portrays in rough evolutionary order, sun, moon, weather, waves, plants, birds, animals, and humans.

“Each phase is celebrated by the powerful chorus in outbursts of joy. With resounding brass and the full orchestra, the concert provides a thrilling experience in Gisborne’s most resonant concert venue, St Andrew’s Church.”

Gisborne Choral Society and the Gisborne Civic Orchestra presents The Creation by Josef Haydn, St Andrew’s Church, Sunday, 2pm. $20 adults, $5 students.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you think the benefits of forestry to the region outweigh its negative impacts?
    See also: