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.