6 Things You Didn’t Know About Haydn and The Creation (Probably)

Joseph Haydn is a well known guy. He taught Beethoven; he was friends with Mozart; and he has been called no less than “the father of the symphony.” But did you know that he married the sister of the woman he was in love with? (Oops!) Here are a few other things you might not know about Joseph Haydn and one of his most famous compositions: The Creation.

1. As a teenager, Haydn was fired from his job as a choirboy because he cut off another chorister’s pigtail.

2. An early version of the libretto for The Creation was first given to George Handel, but he chose not to work on it.

3. The anticipation for the first private performance of The Creation was so great that hundreds of people without invitations crowded in the street at the palace to try to listen.

4. The original libretto was written in English, but the first performance was sung in German.

5. Joseph Haydn composed 108 symphonies in his career. (108!)

6. He lived here, sometimes:

(That’s one of many palaces belonging to his patrons, the Esterhazys).

One thought on “6 Things You Didn’t Know About Haydn and The Creation (Probably)

  1. Michael Huff

    This is great stuff!! I’d forgotten about “the pigtail incident”. The English translation we are performing — by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker — is actually closer to the German text, and makes a lot more sense (at least it does to me) than the traditional English translation which was actually 3rd generation — a translation (English) of a translation (German) of the original that was lost (we don’t have the composer’s autograph score of this piece). Shaw and Parker have taken us closer to what they believe was the original text. Now if only there was a CONDUCTING SCORE with Shaw/Parker’s text. Dr. Baldwin and I have had to handwrite the Shaw/Parker text into our conducting scores, and now we have THREE lines of text — the “original” German, the 2nd-generation English translation from the German, and our handwritten Shaw/Parker English. Love it!!!

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