Haydn witnessed many radical changes in music during the course of his long life. He was eighteen when Bach died in 1750, just as the Baroque era was coming to its end, and over 70 when Beethoven’s Eroica symphony saw its premiere in 1804, ushering in the Romantic period. Throughout all the changes Haydn remained a pioneering figure, experimenting and surprising audiences right up to the end of his life.
It is believed that Haydn was inspired to write this large scale oratorio during his visits to England in 1790's, when frequent performances of Handel’s Messiah could regularly be heard.
The text, retelling the story of The Creation, is taken from both the Bible and Paradise Lost by John Milton. It is a startlingly dramatic piece such as in the storm scenes, the wonderful melodic music as the sun rises and the colourful depiction of various animals and birds as each is created. The whole work sparkles with the vitality and unfailing inspiration so characteristic of this remarkable composer.