Great works: Haydn's The Creation

Course Dates: 02/04/20
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Explore Haydn’s famous oratorio The Creation (Die Schöpfung) (1797-8). Discover the way Haydn depicts the creation of the world using a biblical-based libretto written by Gottfried van Swieten.


What is the course about?

Haydn’s work ‘The Creation’ is often discussed in terms of its vivid musical depiction/representation style. Learn more about the musical background to this work including the influence of Handel’s earlier English oratorio style. You will also explore the circumstances of its composition and first performance.

What will we cover?

- What is an Oratorio: traditional forms of Italian Oratorios, German Passions and Handel’s English oratorios
- An outline of Haydn’s biography up to 1797
- Selected source readings relevant to this work (newspapers, letters etc…)
- The libretto and musical structure of Haydn’s Oratorio: The Creation
- Some comparison with other contemporary works that Haydn may have known and the relationship to Handel’s English oratorio tradition
- Social, political and religious context of The Creation
- Close listening of selected musical passages: discussion of text-music relationship.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the elements and key forms of this famous oratorio
- Understand musical-technical terms: recitative, chorus, aria
- Discuss the broad outline structure of Swieten’s libretto
- Discuss musical representation in the oratorio.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

- No prior knowledge of the subject is required. You do not need to read music to take this course (although we will look at music notation for time-to-time).
- You will be asked to do some reading in class and between sessions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts, powerpoint slides or writing on a whiteboard
- Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples
- Class discussion and debate
- Listening and reading outside class is encouraged and once enrolled further online resources will be recommended.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All classes, learning materials and online resources are included in the price. Those who wish to continue their learning outside the classes will be offered suggestions for further reading and listening, but this is not compulsory in order to complete the course.

You will need to bring paper and writing implements to take notes and participate fully in group activities. All presentation material and class handouts will also be made accessible in digital format.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

To find out more about music history classes and to read our year-long selection of courses, please see the blog post Music history: your guide to the 2019/20 programme which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.

Tutor Biographies
Edward Breen Tutor Website

Edward teaches music history and music theory at City lit where he is Head of Programme: Advanced Studies in the School of Performing Arts. His specialism is early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) and he completed his PhD in historical musicology at King's College London (2013) on the performance of medieval music. Outside of teaching, Edward is a regular contributor to Gramophone magazine and has lectured for Dartington International Summer School, London's Southbank Centre and The British Library. He has also worked as a researcher for BBC Proms and written for the journal Early Music (OUP). His recent essays are published in: The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Historical Performance in Music, (Cambridge University Press); The Montpellier Codex: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Music 16 (Boydell Press); Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen (Ashgate 2018); and 30-Second Classical Music (Ivy Press).

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: MD041B

Thu, day, 02 Apr - 02 Apr '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £29.00
Senior fee: £23.00
Concession: £18.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.