Having been inspired by performances of Handel oratorios while visiting London in 1791-92 and 1794-95, Joseph Haydn determined to write one of his own and was given an English libretto entitled "The Creation", which had originally been offered to Handel years before. This libretto, whose author is still not known, was loosely based upon Biblical sources (Genesis, Pslams) and John Milton's epic "Paradise Lost." Haydn presented it to Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who adapted and translated the work into the German libretto used for the composition of the new oratorio. "Die Schöpfung" occupied Haydn from 1796-98 and was given its first performance in Vienna's Schwarzenberg Palace on April 30, 1798 before an invited audience of nobles, government officials, prominent musicians. The public crowded outside in an attempt to hear the work in such number that a police detachment was needed to keep order, and the first public performance (March 19, 1799) was sold out months in advance. The authoritative vocal score reissued here, first published by Breitkopf und Härtel of Leipzig in the early 20th century, features the original German text with English and French beneath, and a playable piano reduction by Paul Klengel. As with all PLP scores a percentage of each sale is donated to the amazing online archive of free music scores and recordings, IMSLP - Petrucci Music Library.
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