Texts of Haydn’s The Creation
Performance score prepared by Betsy Burleigh
The Representation of Chaos
2. Recitative (Raphael)
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth; and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters; and God said: Let there be light, and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
3. Aria (Uriel)
Now vanish before the holy beams the gloomy, dismal shades of dark; the first of days appears. Disorder yields to order fair the place. Affrighted fled hell’s spirits, black in throngs; down they sink in the deep of abyss to endless night.
Dejection, rage, and terror attend their rapid fall. A new created world springs up at God’s command.
4. Recitative (Raphael)
And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so. Outrageous storms now dreadful arose; as chaff by the winds are impelled the clouds. By heaven’s fire the sky is inflamed, and awful rolled the thunders on high. Now from the floods in streams ascend reviving showers of rain, the dreary wasteful hail, the light and flaky snow.
5. Solo with Chorus (Gabriel)
The marvelous work beholds amazed the glorious heirarchy of heaven, and to the ethereal vault resounds the praise of God and of the second day.
And God said: Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of waters called he the seas; and God saw that it was good.
7. Recitative (Raphael)
Rolling in foaming billows uplifted roars the boisterous sea. Mountains and rocks now emerge, their tops unto the clouds ascend. Through the open plains outstretching wide in serpent error rivers flow. Softly purling glides on through silent vales the limpid brook.
8. Recitative (Gabriel)
And God said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth; and it was so.
9. Recitative (Gabriel)
With verdure clad the fields appear delightful to the ravished sense; by flowers sweet and gay enhanced is the charming sight. Here vent their fumes the fragrant herbs; here shoots the healing plant. By load of fruits the expanded boughs are pressed; to shady vaults are bent the tufty groves; the mountain’s brow is crowned with closed wood.
10. Recitative (Uriel)
And the heavenly host proclaimed the third day, praising God and saying:
Awake the harp, awake the lyre! Let now your song of praise resound! Rejoice in the Lord, the mighty God! For He the heavens and earth has attired in stately dress.
And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night, and to give light upon the earth; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years. He made the stars also.
In splendor bright is rising now the sun and darts his rays; an amorous, joyful, happy spouse, a giant proud and glad to run his measured course. With softer beams and milder light steps on the silver moon through silent night. The space immense of the azure sky innumerous host of radient orbs adorns, and the sons of God announced the fourth day in song divine, proclaiming thus His power:
14. Trio and Chorus (Gabriel)
The heavens are telling the glory of God; the firmament displays the wonder of His work. Today that is coming speaks it the day; the night that is gone to following night. In all lands resounds the word, never unperceived, ever understood.
And God said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that hath life and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
16. Aria (Gabriel)
On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle aloft and cleaves the sky in swiftest flight to the blazing sun. His welcome bids to morn the merry lark, and cooing calls the tender dove his mate. From every bush and grove resound the nightingale’s delightful notes. No grief affected yet her breast, nor to a mournful tale were tuned her soft, enchanting lays.
17. Recitative (Raphael)
And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, and God blessed them saying, Be fruitful all and multiply! Ye winged tribes, be multiplied and sing on every tree! Multiply ye finny tribes and fill each watery deep! Be fruitful, grow and multiply! And in your God and Lord rejoice!
18. Recitative (Raphael)
And the angels struck their immortal harps and the wonders of the fifth day sang.
19. Trio and Chorus
Most beautiful appear with verdure young adorned the gently sloping hills. Their narrow, sinuous veins distill in crystal drops the fountain fresh and bright. In lofty circles plays and hovers through the sky the cheerful host of birds. And in the flying whirl the glittering plumes are dyed as rainbows by the sun. See flashing through the wet in thronged swarms the fry on thousand ways around. Upheaved from the deep the immense Leviathan sports on the foaming wave. How many are Thy works O God! Who may their numbers tell? The Lord is great and great is His might; His glory lasts for evermore.
20. Recitative (Raphael)
And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind; cattle and creeping thing, and beasts of the earth after their kind.
21. Recitative (Raphael)
Straight opening her fertile womb, the earth obeyed the word and teemed creatures numberless in perfect forms and fully grown. Cheerful roaring stands the tawny lion. In sudden leaps the flexible tiger appears. The nimble stag bears up his branching head. With flying mane and fiery look, impatient neighs the sprightly steed. The cattle in herds already seeks his food on fields and meadows green. And over the ground are spread, as plants, the fleecy, meek and bleating flock. Unnumbered as the sands in whirl arose the host of insects. In long dimensions creeps with sinuous trace the worm.
22. Aria (Raphael)
Now heaven in all her glory shone; earth smiles in all her rich attire. The room of air with fowl is filled; the water swelled by shoals of fish; by heavy beasts the ground is trod. But all the work was not complete. There wanted yet that wondrous being that grateful should God’s power admire, with heart and voice His goodness praise.
23. Recitative (Uriel)
And God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him. Male and female created He them. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
24. Recitative (Uriel)
In native worth and honor clad, with beauty, courage, strength adorned, to heaven erect and tall he stands – a man, the lord and king of nature all. The large and arched front sublime of wisdom deep declares the seat, and in his eyes with brightness shines the soul, the breath and image of his God. With fondness leans upon his breast the partner for him formed, a woman fair and graceful spouse. Her softly smiling virgin looks, of flowery spring the mirror, bespeak him love and joy and bliss.
25. Recitative (Raphael)
And God saw everything that He had made; and behold, it was very good; and the heavenly choir in song divine thus closed the sixth day.
26. Chorus and Trio
Achieved is the glorious work; the Lord beholds it and is pleased. And let our joy resound aloud! Our song let be the praise of God! On Thee each living soul awaits; from Thee, O Lord, they beg their meat. Thou openest Thy hand and sated all they are. But as to them Thy face is hid, with sudden terror they are struck. Thou takest their breath away; they vanish into dust. Thou lettest Thy breath go forth again, and life with vigor fresh returns. Revived earth unfolds new force and new delights. Achieved is the glorious work. Our song let be the praise of God! He sole on high exalted reigneth, alleluia. Glory to His name forever. Alleluia!
27. Recitative (Uriel)
In rosy mantle appears, by tunes sweet awaked, the morning young and fair. From the celestial vaults pure harmony descends on ravished earth. Behold the blissful pair, where hand-in-hand they go! Their flaming looks express what feels the grateful heart. A louder praise of God their lips shall utter soon. Then let our voices ring, united with their song!
28. Duet with Chorus (Adam and Eve)
By Thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord, the heaven and earth are stored. This world, so great, so wonderful, Thy mighty hand has formed. Forever blessed be His power! His name be ever magnified! Of stars the fairest, O how sweet thy smile at dawning morn! How brightenest thou, O sun, the day, thou eye and soul of all! Proclaim in your extended course the almighty power and praise of God! And thou that rules the silent night and all ye starry host spread wide and everywhere His praise in choral songs about! Ye strong and cumberous elements who ceaseless changes make, ye dusky mists and dewy streams who raise and fall through the air, resound the praise of our Lord! Resound the praise of God our Lord! Great is His name and great His might! Ye purling fountains tune His praise and wave your tops ye pines! Ye plants exhale, ye flowers breathe at Him your balmy scent! Ye that on mountains stately tread and ye that lowly creep, ye birds that sing at heaven’s gate and ye that swim the stream, ye living souls extol the Lord! All ye living souls extol the Lord! Him celebrate! Him magnify, all ye that hath breath! Ye valleys, hills and shady woods, our raptured notes ye heard; from morn to evening you shall repeat our grateful hymns of praise. Hail bounteous Lord! Almighty, hail! Your word called forth this wondrous frame. The heaven and earth do worship Thee; we praise Thee now and evermore.
29. Recitative (Adam and Eve)
Our duty we performed now in offering up to God our thanks. Now follow me, dear partner of my life! Thy guide I’ll be, and every step pours new delights into our breast, shows wonders everywhere. Then mayest thou feel and know the high degree of bliss the Lord allotted us, and with devoted heart His bounty celebrate. Come, follow me! Thy guide I’ll be! O thou for whom I am! My help, my sheild, my all! Thy will is law to me. So God our Lord ordains, and from our obedience grows my pride and happiness.
30. Duet (Adam and Eve)
Graceful consort! At thy side softly fly the golden hours. Every moment brings new rapture, care is put to rest. Spouse adored! At thy side purest joys overflow the heart. Life and all I am is thine; my reward thy love shall be. The dew dropping morn, O how she quickens all! The coolness of the evening, O how she all restores! How grateful is of fruit the savor sweet! How pleasing is of fragrant bloom the smell! But without thee, what is to me the morning dew, the savory fruit? With thee is every joy enhanced; with thee delight is ever new; with thee is life incessant bliss; thine it whole shall be.
31. Recitative (Uriel)
O happy pair, and always happy yet if not misled by false conceit; ye strive at more as granted is and more to know as know ye should!
Sing to God now all ye voices all! Thank Him, thank Him, ye all ye His creation! Celebrate His power and glory. Let His name resound on high! The Lord is great; eternal praises sing for evermore. Amen. Sing to heaven, all ye voices. The Lord is great. Sing praise for evermore. Amen.