BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, December 22, 1822

Both today and tomorrow, Haydn’s oratorio Die Schöpfung (The Creation) will be performed at the court theater, as a musical Akademie for the benefit of the widows and orphans of musicians, put on by the Society of Musical Artists. This was quite the event, with the Kaiser and Kaiserinn as well as other royals in attendance. Haydn of course was one Beethoven’s counterpoint teachers, though Beethoven later claimed he did not learn very much from Haydn, whose attention was generally elsewhere.

The Vienna Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of January 4, 1823 reports that the performances, conducted by Kapellmeister Umlauf, went exceedingly well. The final fugal chorus of Part I had to be repeated both nights, and in tomorrow’s performance the duet in the last part also had to be repeated. “The energetic direction of the Lord Kapellmeister, the power of the rich instrumental music, and the fire of the choristers produced the triumph of this great fugue choir. The two singers of the duet received their well-deserved acclaim.” Nr.2 at col.14.

The concluding chorus of Part I of The Creation is performed here by Sir Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, Sally Matthews, Ian Bostridge and Dietrich Henschel soloists: