ArtsWatch Audio: Katherine FitzGibbon on Haydn’s ‘The Creation’

The Creation of the Stars and Planets, (or, given the position of the figure on the left, perhaps a more appropriate title would be The Moon and the Sun), as depicted on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling. Credit: Wikipedia Commons


This weekend, the Oregon Symphony and Portland Symphonic Choir perform one of the great choral orchestral sacred music works, Joseph Haydn’s 1798 oratorio, The Creation. Based on the Biblical story of humanity’s origin, with additional text from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, it uses music to evoke images of animals, different weather conditions (including those Oregon is enduring now), and other events and descriptions. In this podcast, Oregon ArtsWatch writer Brett Campbell talks to Lewis & Clark College music professor Katherine FitzGibbon, a specialist in German choral music who’s conducted The Creation herself, about what makes Haydn’t masterpiece both moving and fun for all kinds of listeners.

OAW Audio: Brett Campbell and Katherine FitzGibbon on “The Creation” by Oregon Arts Watch

Katherine FitzGibbon knows the score

Katherine FitzGibbon conducts the Lewis & Clark College Choirs and teaches music history, choral music education, and conducting. She is also Artistic Director of Resonance Ensemble and Head of Faculty at the Berkshire Choral Festival in Sheffield, Massachusetts, and Vancouver, British Columbia. A lyric soprano, Dr. FitzGibbon is a frequent recitalist, having performed with Friends of Rain, Clark University’s Faculty Recital Series, the Boston Secession Artist Series, Cornell University Mid-Day Music, and recitals at the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Here’s the oratorio’s greatest hit, which she describes at the end of the interview.

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