Haydn’s Creation is one of the great masterpieces of the classical period. In this absorbing and original account the author places the work within the oratorio tradition, contrasting the theological and literary character of the English libretto with the Viennese milieu of the first performances. The complete text is provided in both English and German versions as a reference point for discussion of the design of the work and the musical treatment of the words. A more detailed musical chapter examines the work through the movement types it employs – arias and ensembles, recitative and choruses – distinguishing the Handelian model from Haydn’s own classical idiom. Nicholas Temperley also discusses the changing performance traditions of this work, surveys the critical reception throughout its history and quotes from the most signifcant critical literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.