It says much about the composer's uncertainty of his own worth that despite his towering achievements, in his twilight years Haydn still sought a subject imposing enough to ensure his reputation survived his death.
Taking no chances, he settled on the Big One: the Biblical myth of Creation, presented in the oratorio form for maximum gravitas. The piece remains one of his most popular works. It's presented with due sense of scale by René Jacobs with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and RIAS Chamber Choir. Though following the dark account of Chaos in the Prelude, the subsequent illuminations fail to rise to great heights.
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