Beethoven Haydn And The Concept Of Creation

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Beethoven, Haydn, And The Concept Of Creation Essay, Research Paper Among the influential composers of classical music, there have been few who have contributed so much in both talent, creativity, and style as Joseph Haydn and Ludwig Van Beethoven. Both extremely talented in the art of classical composition, Haydn and Beethoven placed their heart, soul and ingenuity in their music as is clearly illustrated in Haydn s The Creation and Beethoven s The Creatures of Prometheus. Both composers display sheer genius in their very effective ways of displaying complex themes through their musical works – in this case, the concept of creation is common to both pieces under study. Haydn s connection to the concept of Genesis and its subtleties is quite evident thought his entire

composition. Looking at Haydn s religious piety and as some would argue, unrealistic optimism, it is only fitting that Haydn expressed the concept of creation as an oratoria, which is the biblical counterpart to opera; instead of the various propounded themes of then-contemporary opera, the underlying theme is strictly of biblical concepts and stories. The opening pitch and dynamic of the work are absolutely equal. The overture is introduced in fortissimo and without vigor. The possible reason for such a SLOW pace was to make it hard for the listener to ascertain a steady pulse. In aiming for such ambiguity, Haydn intentionally fails to express a definite key, chord or melody in the first few bars, and as a result the listener is met with a rather formless initial introduction.

Upon the completion of those initial bars of music, the listener is thrown a stray of fragmented melodies with no cadence. The normal convention of tonality is cleverly ignored by Haydn. It is quite interesting to note that the piece ends in an unusual way; he lands it on C minor, an avant garde practice created only a short time earlier by Mozart. The use of mutes throughout the entire beginning and of a blank unison C without order seem to be in itself quite a chaotic move, but Haydn doesn t stop there. He adds dissonance and doesn t allow the played keys to fully develop. Although Haydn brings in solo instruments, they aren t allowed to blossom as is usually expected in comparative music, and along with the above techniques, help formulate the sense of chaos that Haydn

believed was present prior to the creation . Haydn s expressive genius in conveying great feeling does not end with the overture of his work. The first recitative is sung by Raphael, who is a bass – Haydn, I believe, chose Raphael because of his low voice – after all the listener is still upon the darkness of chaos. The choir enters in sotto voce. To connote a sense of transition, Haydn moves from the ominous key of C minor to the more stable and majestic major of the same key. In providing for the creative theme, Haydn analogizes the birth to light; The choir sings let there be light, and there was while the instruments are played pizzicato. After such, the instruments are given a beat of rest where the transition from muteness to open-sounding occurs, and both the choir and

the instruments are reintroduced on light with a positive-feeling C major chord, played fortissimo. This event is much louder than anything previous and is in stark contrast. the chorus represents and acts the heavenly host to the listener, elaborating on each creation and accomplishments in ever-increasingly excited tones. Later in the work, (3 Uriel & Chorus), Haydn, unlike most composers, alternated between sharps & flats; He started in C minor but begins this aria in A major. Divided into four parts, the second part plunges back into darkness with the lowest part of the tenor range in c minor. The chorus then enters, still in chaos with stark contrasts to the first part (loud, polyphonic). The fourth part brings forth god s new creation again, with musically depicted