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Haydn "The Creation" Schirmer English Translation

Hi,
 
I'm doing a little background research on Hadyn's "Creation," and I'm curious where the English translation used in the Schirmer edition of the piece comes from.   I've read a few books written specifically about this work and haven't come across this answer yet, although I may be missing it somewhere.
 
Thanks for any pointers you can provide!
 
Hugh McDevitt
San Jose, California
 
 
Replies (5): Threaded | Chronological
on April 12, 2014 5:25pm
Haydn reported that the first English libretto for “The Creation” was originally by someone named “Lidley” (possibly the Drury Lane impresario Thomas Linley) but he actually received it from Johann Peter Salomon in 1795 who suggested he set it to music when the composer was staying with him in London.  Unfortunately, this original English libretto has been lost.  Upon his return to Vienna, Haydn gave it to Baron Gottfried van Swieten who altered it and provided a parallel German text.  Haydn’s finished work (1800) was in full score that had both van Swieten’s English and German texts.  Interestingly, van Swieten’s English libretto has many admirers but also many critics:  When Vincent Novello prepared the first English edition of the vocal score (sorry, don’t have the year), he made several changes to the 1800 text, many of them major.  It is this version that G. Schirmer published around 1890.  Several efforts have been made to improve on it (most notably by Fox-Strangways in 1932 and Robert Shaw in 1953) but the Novello-Schirmer version is still the most popular.  Hope that helps.
on April 12, 2014 7:32pm
Thanks, Michael.  It was the Vincent Novello piece of the puzzle that I was missing.   Thanks for the information!
 
Hugh McDevitt
on April 12, 2014 11:18pm
I realize that the original query concerned the Schirmer edition, but please forgive me for writing that I think the Nicholas Temperley edition/translation (published by Peters) is superior to any other English re-translation I know of (including Shaw-Parker/Lawson-Gould) -- making the originally-published English coherent and grammatically correct without changing its style noticeably, and fitting the existing musical lines without requiring changes in whatever set of parts one is using.
 
Best regards,
Jerome Hoberman
 
Music Director/Conductor, The Hong Kong Bach Choir & Orchestra
on April 13, 2014 5:53am
Thank you, Jerome, for that info; I am not familiar with that translation. The Schirmer version has some beautiful, vivid language but has always driven me crazy with its grammatical weirdness. Having a cleaned-up version of the classic sounds great. I will check it out.
on April 14, 2014 5:49am
This sounds very interesting. I'd love to find a good English version of this masterpiece  Who publishes the Temperley edition?
 
Alan Shapiro
New York City
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