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2 weeks ago

Haslemere Musical Society

Great to get this review of our Haydn Creation performance in The Haslemere Herald, and 'utter thanks' to our three marvellous soloists, Susan Young, Philip O'Brien and Jon Stainsby: ... See MoreSee Less

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Congratulations to Tom and Hayley Horn on the birth of their little person. We are speculating as to whether the combination of amazing violin and double bass players will produce a cellist or a violist!! Sending our very best wishes to the three of you. ... See MoreSee Less

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4 weeks ago

Haslemere Musical Society

Join us for Haydn's The Creation on Saturday 2 March, 7.30pm at Haslemere Hall, with soloists Susan Young, Philip O'Brien and Jon Stainsby. Final tickets from tickets.haslemerehall.co.uk/sales/genres/music/hms-orchestral--choral-concert-1Next Saturday, 7.30pm, at Haslemere Hall: Haydn's The Creation, with soprano Susan Young, tenor Philip O'Brien, and baritone Jon Stainsby, Haslemere Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (trained by chorusmaster Cole Bendall).

The Creation was inspired by Haydn’s two successful visits to England in the 1790s, where performances of Handel’s Messiah made a profound impression on him. However, the commission for The Creation came from Vienna’s Tonkünstler-Societät, and was first performed there, in German, in 1798. The original English text’s author is unknown, although it seems to have been based on a text written for Handel fifty years earlier. Its sources are the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, Psalms 19 and 104 and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Despite the influence of Handel’s oratorios, Haydn’s approach is radically different: recitatives, arias and choruses are linked into dramatic structures that reflect his experience gained from 104 symphonies and 24 operas, with day working as a performing unit, culminating in a celebratory chorus. The orchestration is full of vivid imagery; frequently it describes events in sound before they are put into words by the singers.

Haydn’s work is perhaps the greatest musical statement of the 18th-Century Enlightenment. It tells the story of God-inspired creation from chaos to order, with humanity as its ultimate achievement. This is a rational and progressive Creation, ordained by a beneficent Divine Providence, where heavenly hosts sing exuberantly in praise of God; ‘no grief affected yet’ the nightingale on Day Five. Amid the spirit of optimism however, there are hints of darkness. ‘Hell’s spirits’ are dispatched to the underworld promptly on Day One, amid gentle musical nods to Mozart’s bird-like Papageno music from The Magic Flute juxtaposed with Don Giovanni’s descent to hell, and much of the what follows is descriptive and joyous rather than introspective. However, on Day Six, when human beings are created, we are reminded that those who reject God, ‘with sudden terror they are struck’; in its final chorus, ‘Achieved is the Glorious Work’, the orchestra’s accents and moments of dissonance suggest reality may be less final and more complicated than the text is telling us.

Part Three, derived mainly from Paradise Lost, opens with an evocation of the Garden of Eden, leading to a huge Hymn of Praise – the work’s most elaborate structure, with choral writing owing little to Handel’s models. Adam and Eve’s duet celebrates more secular joys, but before the final triumphal chorus, the angel Uriel reminds us that Adam and Eve, that ‘happy pair’, will be mislead by ‘false conceit’.

Get tickets at: tickets.haslemerehall.co.uk/sales/genres/music/hms-orchestral--choral-concert-1

Here is Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting, with soprano Dorothea Röschmann, tenor Werner Güra, bass Thomas E. Bauer, The Arnold Schoenberg Chor and Concentus Musicus Wien: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQ2szN8Tkw
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Come and Sing Faure's Requiem is going ahead today Saturday 2nd Feb. Pavements are a bit slippery but the roads are OK. Car park is opposite side of road to church. Please don't park in ST Engineering forecourt. Wear lots of layers and maybe an extra pair of socks. Looking forward to seeing you at 1.40 for registration for a 2pm start. Best wishes Marion Thomas ... See MoreSee Less

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