Today at the Proms - Prom 14

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 14: The Creation ...

Just the one work again tonight, this time from Haydn, and it promises to be an epic as it tells, in two hours, the biblical story of the six day creation of the world. It's an oratorio, which is basically like an opera but with a religious subject and not acted out on a stage, just sung. Haydn was apparently inspired after hearing the oratorios (oratorii?) of his English contemporary composer Handel.

In Parts I and II of the work, the three soloists represent angels who narrate and comment on the successive six days of creation: Gabriel (soprano - tonight sung by Sarah-Jane Brandon), Uriel (tenor - Benjamin Hulett), and Raphael (normally a bass but tonight the part is sung by baritone Christoph Pohl). Part III introduces as characters the first man and first woman of the Bible, Adam and Eve, during the time they spent in the Garden of Eden before the Fall. Adam is usually sung by the same soloist that sings Raphael, and the soprano role of Eve is usually sung by the same soloist who sings Gabriel and it will be the same tonight.

As I said above, it will be like an opera, so there are recitatives (the story telling bits) which are not very melodic and don't repeat lines over and over like the arias, in this case called chorals, do. But there's also an element of tone painting (orchestral description) like this wonderfully chaotic start - in this video you can actually hear the conductor jump at the start he's so enthusiastic.


Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live from 19:30 on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer 

Joseph Haydn
The Creation(105 mins)(sung in German)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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