This concert re-created the Society’s first-ever performance in the spring of 1818
by Joseph Haydn, sung in English translation. Our concert in 2018 sought an authentic performance style with one of Britain’s leading orchestral exponents of period performance The Hanover Band.
Our soloists were:
Catrin Pryce-Jones, soprano, singing the roles of Archangel Gabriel and Eve
Hiroshi Amako, tenor, singing the role of the Archangel Uriel
Samuel Carl, baritone, singing the roles of Archangel Raphael and Adam
The astronomer William Herschel, famed for discovering the planet Uranus, grew up in Hanover in Germany and had trained as a musician before moving to England. Around 1766 he was for a time organist at Halifax Parish Church (when its famous Snetzler organ was new)! As an astronomer, Herschel was renowned for the outstanding quality of his telescopes and his tireless astronomical discoveries – even of distant galaxies far outside our own Milky Way. He, along with other scientists of the day, promoted profoundly new thinking on cosmology and the formation of the universe. His observatory was visited by an endless stream of the great and good from across Europe who came to catch spectacular glimpses of the heavens for themselves. One such was Joseph Haydn. The historian Richard Holmes notes that: “Visits to his observatory were regarded as uplifting, even religious experiences. Joseph Haydn claimed that his visit to Herschel at Slough in 1792 had helped him compose his oratorio The Creation.” So here is a link between Halifax and the Creation!