The oratorio The Creation represents not only a crucial point in Joseph Haydn's compositional output, but at the same time, marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the oratorio. At the turn of the 19th century, Haydn broke with the traditional dominance of the arias, giving the chorus a distinctly greater signifi cance. This opened the way for a new kind of choral oratorio which became one of the standard features of developing bourgeois concert life. The plot is divided into three parts; Part One portrays the fi rst four days of creation with the genesis of the world, the plants and the fi rmament, and in Part Two the animals are included. Part Three takes as its theme the life of the fi rst people, Adam and Eve, with the oratorio culminating in two major closing choruses of praise and thanks. The text, translated from the English original by Baron van Swieten, Prefect of the imperial court library in Vienna, combines prose texts of the creation story in Luther's translation of the bible with complementary excerpts from John Milton's Paradise Lost (duration: approx. 110 mins).