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Choral Groups Perform Haydn’s “The Creation”

The Willamette Master Chorus will join with the Willamette University Chamber Choir to present Haydn's "The Creation" Saturday, May 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m. at Hudson Hall in the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University.

General admission is $15, and student and senior tickets are $12, or $5 at the door for students. Purchase tickets at Weathers Music at 2825 Commercial St. SE in Salem, (503) 362-8708, or visit www.WillametteMasterChorus.org.

The oratorio, one of the most beloved works of the European choral tradition, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Franz Joseph Haydn's passing in 1809. Conductor Paul Klemme will direct more than 120 voices and a full orchestra, and featured soloists will include soprano Amy Hansen, tenor Les Green and bass Konstantin Kvach. The creation of the world is related as seen through the eyes of three angels, while the chorus represents the heavenly hosts.

"The Creation" is one of the greatest success stories in the history of choral music. While many works that are admired today were flops at their first performances, the piece was an instant success at its 1798 premiere and was immediately hailed as a universal masterpiece by audiences across Europe and in America. Performances have become an annual tradition in Vienna, making it the first major musical work with a continuous tradition of performance and popularity.
The lyrics and music illustrate animals from the "merry lark" to the "nimble stag" to the "creeping worm" alongside great choral movements, including "The Heavens are Telling" and "Achieved is the Glorious Work," and the opening portrayal of chaos sets the stage for one of the great dramatic strokes in music with the lyric, "And there was light."

A true work of the 18th-century Enlightenment, the libretto ends before Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden, with humanity as the crowning achievement of creation.

Concert sponsors include Copper Creek Mercantile, the Statesman Journal and KGAL/KSHO Radio 1580. For more information call (503) 370-6929.

04-24-2009