What are the substantial features about the composition regarding the texture, rhythm, melody, and harmony of “The Creation” by Joseph Hadyn
At the time Haydn premiered his oratorio The Creation (in German, Die Schöpfung) in 1799 he had already years earlier achieved an iconic status, and was now considered the greatest living composer. Mozart had died nearly eight years earlier, and Beethoven had, in the past several years, just begun to establish his own reputation.
With a large-scale, multi-movement work for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, it's difficult to answer the specifics of your question without a detailed analysis of each movement, which is beyond our scope here. However, we can still provide some basic information. One way to understand The Creation is by learning about the general characteristics of what we call the Classical period in music (usually regarded as from about 1750 to 1825), and also to compare and contrast Haydn's oratorio with similar works of other composers.
An oratorio is a large vocal-orchestral work usually, but not always, with a religious text. In the standard repertoire the most performed and best-known piece in the genre is probably Handel's Messiah, which uses a text drawn directly from the King James version of the Bible. Haydn's The Creation uses the biblical text from the book of Genesis in alternation with additional text written by the diplomat and author Gottfried van Swieten, who had been a friend and patron of Mozart as well as Haydn. We can also note that Handel is a Baroque composer, prior to Haydn and the Classical period. In Handel, and much more so in his contemporary J.S. Bach, musical textures are more "complex" than in the later, more streamlined Classical style, though we'll see below that this generalization doesn't always hold true. One simply has to listen to the music to grasp these stylistic and period differences.
The best way to describe the music of The Creation is that it consists of an alternation of choruses with orchestra, arias and duets in which a soloist or soloists sing with orchestral accompaniment, and passages in which the orchestra plays alone. In between these set-piece "numbers" (as they were called at the time--a term that survived into the twentieth-century as a colloquial word for a popular song) are recitatives, which are a not fully melodic type of declamatory singing by a soloist, a kind of half-speech, half-song style in which the less poetic, purely narrative parts of the text are delivered.
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