Haydn’s late oratorio The Creation is considered by many to be his great masterpiece.
It was Haydn's encounter with Handel's oratorios in London that sowed the seeds of his most famous and enduring masterpiece. Just before he left England for the last time, in the summer of 1795, the impresario and violinist Johann Peter Salomon handed him an anonymous English libretto on the subject of The Creation which had allegedly been intended for Handel half a century earlier. Haydn immediately saw the musical potential in The Creation text, whose main sources were the book of Genesis, Milton's Paradise Lost (especially for the animal descriptions in Part Two, and the hymn and love duet in Part Three) and, for several of the choruses of praise, the book of Psalms.
The result was the greatest triumph of Haydn's career and is one of the most popular oratorios today.