Haydn and Schoenberg: Inventing Genesis
November 14, 2009
Schoenberg: Prelude, Op. 44 (Genesis)
Haydn: The Creation (Die Schöpfung)
Raphael: David Kravitz; Gabriel: Kendra Colton; Uriel: Matthew Anderson; Eva: Kristen Watson; Adam: Mark McSweeney
The Orchestra and Chorus of Emmanuel Music, John Harbison, conductor
Schoenberg composed his powerful “Prelude to the Bible” in 1944 as part of Genesis Suite, commissioned from seven different California émigré composers by Fred Astaire’s music director Nathaniel Shilkret, premiered before a glittering Hollywood audience. Haydn composed his Creation in 1796 on a commission organized by a similar entrepreneur, Baron von Swieten, with twelve aristocratic donors footing the bill for both the composition and a premiere before the elite of Viennese society. The common ground – deep, fervent, unfashionable religious faith expressed in indelible sounds.