The Oratorios of Haydn, Berlioz and Mendelssohn

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The Oratorios of Haydn, Berlioz and Mendelssohn

<p>One of the most colourful and dramatic genres of vocal concert music, the oratorio combines soloists, choir and orchestra. Explore some of the late 18th and early 19th century masterpieces in the

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One of the most colourful and dramatic genres of vocal concert music, the oratorio combines soloists, choir and orchestra. Explore some of the late 18th and early 19th century masterpieces in the repertoire: Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ and ‘The Seasons’ composed for Vienna, Berlioz’s only but very successful contribution ‘The Childhood of Christ’ written for Paris, and Mendelssohn’s much-loved ‘St Paul’ and ‘Elijah’, premiered at Dusseldorf and Birmingham respectively.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ – the genesis, structure and premiere of the work – Parts I and II
  • Haydn’s ‘The Creation’ – Part III
  • Haydn’s ‘The Seasons’ – an overview of Parts I, II, III and IV
  • Berlioz’s ‘The Childhood of Christ’ – the creation of the work and its Paris premiere – Part I
  • Berlioz’s ‘The Childhood of Christ’ – the reception of the work – Part II
  • Mendelssohn’s ‘St Paul’ – its composition and premiere at the Lower Rhine Festival, Düsseldorf
  • Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ – its commissioning, composition and premiere – Part I
  • Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ – its reception history – Part II


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the special qualities of the oratorio as a musical form.
  2. Assess the influences on the development of the genre from Haydn to Mendelssohn.
  3. Distinguish between the different compositional approaches taken by Haydn, Berlioz and Mendelssohn in their oratorios.
  4. Evaluate the different performances and performance styles heard in the recordings of the works included in the course.