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Music, science and belief

Vladimir Jurowski shares his view on how music interacts with science.

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Royal Festival Hall 2016/17

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In the beginning

Belief and Beyond Belief: Science

7:30 PM, ​ Royal Festival Hall, London, SE1 8XX

Haydn The Creation

Sir Roger Norrington conductor
Lucy Crowe soprano*
Thomas Hobbs tenor
Christopher Maltman baritone
London Philharmonic Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Please note this performance will be sung in English with a new libretto by Paul McCreesh*

*Unfortunately Susan Gritton has withdrawn from this performance due to illness. We are grateful to Lucy Crowe for replacing her.

Joseph Haydn once said that when he thought of God he could write only cheerful music. So imagine the exuberance, the freshness and the pure joy that he brings to the story of the Creation. With its roof-raising choruses, bubbling melodies and glowing colours, The Creation is quite simply one of the most life-affirming and generous two hours of music you’ll ever hear – even the earthworm gets a look in! Sir Roger Norrington brings all his experience to this happiest of great choral masterpieces: add an all-star team of soloists, and this is an evening that’ll make you glad to be alive.

*The Creation is now generally sung in German, yet there is no doubt that Haydn wished for the immediate impact which can only be created by performing the work in the audience’s own language. There have been many attempts to adapt and rewrite parts of the English text, but in preparation for the 2008 Gabrieli Consort & Players recording (DG Archiv 477736-1) I decided to give the libretto a complete and thorough revision, in the hope of creating a version which speaks directly and comfortably to English listeners, and is more worthy of Haydn’s sublime music. Often very simple changes to word order, or the insertion of a word with the correct number of syllables, can make for considerably more beautiful (and more comprehensible) English and, crucially, a better relationship between the text and Haydn’s music. Paul McCreesh, 2009

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This performance is being broadcast live by BBC Radio 3 and will be available online in the UK for 30 days via iPlayer.


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