THE BIBLICAL STORY OF THE CREATION OF EARTH AND THE FALL OF MAN IN MUSIC – A FEW WORKS, MANY OBSERVATIONS

Agnieszka Draus

Abstract


The biblical story of the creation of earth and Man, the fates of Adam and Eve – their love, the fall, the expulsion from Eden and its consequences – throughout many centuries inspired philosophers, writers, painters as well as composers who in their writings and works of art presented various interpretations of the subject. One of the undoubtedly most famous illustrations of the history of Man, described in the Book of Genesis fundamental for the Judeo-Christian tradition, was created by an English poet, John Milton in his epic poem, Paradise Lost. The central theme constitutes the sin of the first humans. However, apart from the biblical story of Adam and Eve, the poem also presents events that took place before and after the first man appeared, such as the description of the creation of the world and its visions after the fall of mankind – the crime of Cain, the plague, war and the deluge, the story of Abraham as well as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The multiplicity of plots and the beautiful language of Puritan poetry inspired many composers to supplement its semantic level with an expression of suggestive music. The proposed text shall be a short overview of the biblical story of Man from the perspective of the English writer who in turn inspired more composers – from John Christopher Smith, Galliard, Haydn and Rubinstein to Krzysztof Penderecki – also in the context the re-interpretation of the subject by Kagel’s, Stockhausen’s and Nowak’s compositions.

Keywords


contemporary musical theatre, Garden of Eden, Milton, Haydn, Rubinstein, Penderecki, Kagel, Stockhausen, Nowak

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SMS-17-9-2-09

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236