Haydn: The heavens are telling

I was just thirteen years old and in my first year at senior school, a new member of the concert chorus. Sitting next to me was my chum John Tavener. We had just been handed our copies of Haydn’s The Creation, which we were due to perform that year, and our conductor called out ‘page 42’. It was The heavens are telling, we sang it through – none of us had never heard it before – and I was thrilled. I have sung, conducted or just listened to it many times since then, and it still thrills me every time: music as fresh as the day it was written, filled with splendour, majesty, and excitement. The Creation remains my favourite oratorio (OK, along with Messiah). It was one of my BBC Desert Island Discs.

Listen to The heavens are telling on Spotify, Apple Music, or Deezer.

The sheet music for The heavens are telling the glory of God is included in Sacred Choruses, published by OUP.


4 Responses to “Haydn: The heavens are telling”

  1. Alice Boyer

    It was such an honor and privilege to perform this under your leading this past May 27th in Carnegie Hall! Such a magnificent piece to perform in that iconic concert hall. And it was the joy of my life to meet you. You are a gracious genius.

  2. Shân Williams

    Singing it for the first time this summer with Voces 8.Looking forward to it.We did used to sing ‘the heavens are telling ‘ at school though, and I loved it.

  3. Torkuma Austin

    Sang it with The Mount saint Gabriels special choir in my 4th year at college
    Twas glorious.

  4. Jenny King

    I too was introduced to this in my senior school choir in Cornwall at about the same age by a brilliant music teacher who sadly died this month. We performed this in Buckfast Abbey all those years ago. I was privileged to sing at his memorial service recently and also performed in The Creation this past week. How lucky we were to have been introduced to such wonderful works and a lifetime of music by passionate teachers.