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The last unashamedly happy masterpiece: Haydn’s The Creation, at Ulster Hall, reviewed

22 April 2023

9:00 AM

22 April 2023

9:00 AM

The Creation

Ulster Hall, Belfast


St John’s Smith Square

Haydn’s The Creation is Paradise Lost without the Lost. True, the words aren’t exactly up there: translated into German by Haydn’s pal Baron van Swieten and subsequently retro-translated into some of the clumsiest, most endearingly rococo English ever set to music. But you get the idea. Near the start some demons get consigned (very efficiently) to the outer darkness, and at the end the angel Uriel gives Adam and Eve the briefest of warnings – despatched in a brisk recitative before the chorus of angels floods the heavens, once more, with sunlight and praise.

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