200 Years, Anniversary Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

haydnmania: the 2009 anniversary

Archive for October, 2008

screaming ladies?…!

Haydn in London:

picture: George Prince of Wales was one of Haydn’s greatest admirers. He played the cello …

While composing his so-called “Surprise Symphony” (the 94th), Haydn relished the prospect of revealing the surprise: “That,” he explained, “will make the ladies scream!”

In German the 94th is more often referred to as the Symphony “mit dem Paukenschlag” (original) /  “with the kettledrum stroke” (engl. translation). It is the 2nd of the twelve so called London-Symphonies. The surprise was the sudden, unexpected loud chord theme…

“…it was my wish to surprise the public with something new…” Joesph Haydn

Oh Joe, sometimes I wished that some of your nowadays colleagues of you act in a similar way!!!

the answer to “poll #1: who said this?”

√ Joseph Haydn !
was the correct answer!

The story behind:

First, after having been granted an extended leave of absence from service at the Esterházy court, and having moved to Vienna at the end of 1790, at the age of 58 Joseph Haydn found himself in the position of a musician free to do as he pleased at the beginning of a possibliy long-planned personal career where he would earn his own way. The violonist Johann Peter Salomon invited him to do a concert series in England and Haydn seized the oppotunity at once. [ from the book “Joseph Haydn. Great Austrian Composer”]


Johann Peter Salomon (1745 – 1815),
painted by Thomas Hardy, London 1792
(picture from wikimedia commons)

For 5000 guilders, Haydn agreed to compose 27 pieces for London concert manager Johann Peter Salomon and to have them performed in concerts, conducting them himself. When Mozart expressed reservations that Haydn did not even speak English, he said:
“Meine Sprache verstehet die ganze Welt!” (original)
“My language is understood throughout the world!”(translation)
.
Looking back, Haydn often said the years in England (1791 – 1792, 1794 – 1795) were the happiest of his life. During those years Haydn reached the zenith of his fame.

j.h. – young and gifted



Picture: Schloss Harrach, Rohrau, Austria:
1794, during Haydns lifetime, Count Harrach exhibited the first statue made of
Haydn in the park on the castle grounds in Rohrau – where Haydn spent his first five years.

Joseph Haydn about his father and his first encounters with music:
“My late father was a wheelwright by profession and a subject of Count Harrach (from nature a great connoisseur of music). Without reading a note of music he played the harp, and when I was a boy of five I could (sing) repeat all the tunes he played…”

All text taken from: Chapter 1. “Childhood” in the book:

“Joseph Haydn, Great Austrian Composer” incl. Audio-CD – recorded at Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt (at Haydnsaal & Empiresaal) with the famous Ensembles “Joseph-Haydn-Streichquartett”, the “Joseph Haydn-Brass”, the “Schloss-Trio Eisenstadt” and the “Esterházy-Ensemble”.

The book is available in 4 languages: german, english, chinese and japanese language!
more about & orderform here

poll #1: who said this …?

The solution will follow soon!

…our “stolen” Haydn-anthem…

…is now used by the Germans as their “official anthem”:

Joseph Haydn composed the “Kaiserhymne” (Emperor’s Hymn) “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser” (“God Save Emperor Francis”) as an anthem to Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire which he reigned from Vienna, Austria. Lorenz Leopold Haschka (1749-1827) wrote the lyrics –  Joseph Haydn composed the melody.

The melody is also the second movement of one of Haydn’s most famous string quartets, nicknamed the “Emperor Quartet” (german/original name: “Das Kaiserquartett”). The melody was later used in “Das Lied der Deutschen” (translation: “the song of the germans” – tztztz….), which is still Germany’s national anthem.

Sometimes I’d like to change our actually (and – at least – boring) austrian anthem against the Haydn anthem melody, that really belongs to us! It was written by a person who lived here (not in Germany!).

There’ not much possibilities, but among the less I found one “touching” version of Haydn’s anthem, the 2nd movement of the “string quartet op.76, popularly known as the “Emperor” Quartet (1797), on youtube:

“Haydn reloaded”

Here a fresh, contemporary view on Haydn by the austrian painter Andreas Roseneder. Since almost two years he’s working on “…the IMAGE of a so called genius in changing times…”.  [- more to come soon…!!!] -related article: “haydn reloaded II” (with more haydn-contemporary artwork)

Andreas Roseneder’s exhibition “Haydn reloaded” will be presented at the famous Esterháza Palace at Fertöd (Hungary) – where Haydn lived and worked.: opening event on saturday, august 8, 2009 at 6 p.m. (more about Esterháza Palace on my article “visiting Esterhàza Palace”)


Andreas Roseneder :“Portrait Joseph Haydn 2007 after Hardy 1791”, 2007, oil on canvas

the “Original” portrait of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy, 1791

Painter & author Andreas Roseneder alias “René Desor” (the literary ananym of Andreas Roseneder), more of his Haydn-works + his official website

 Haydn-patch", 2008, polimer colours on poliethylene master batch - by Andreas Roseneder

Haydn-patch", 2008, polimer colours on poliethylene master batch - by Andreas Roseneder

…the unread letters…

…between Haydn and his wife:
Haydn’s tours often kept him away from his wife for prolonged periods – a happenstance about which he was at best ambivalent. A visitor once remarked upon a large pile of unopened letters on the composer’s desk. “They’re from my wife,” he explained. “We write to each other monthly, but I don’t open her letters and I am certain she doesn’t open mine.”

This Haydnbust was made in Joseph Haydns lifetime from Josef Thaler (around 1800, Vienna) – with original hair from Joseph Haydn on the wax made head: It is now at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: http://www.khm.at

a “sharp” piece of music

In 1789, the London publisher John Bland traveled to Vienna in search of new works for publication. Dropping in on Haydn, he found the composer attempting to shave. “I would give my best quartet for a good razor!” he exclaimed. Bland promptly ran back to his lodgings and returned with his own razors of fine English steel. Haydn kept his promise and handed over his latest string quartet (op. 55 No. 2), which is still commonly known as the “Rasiermesser Quartett” (razor quartet).

Joseph Haydn: Quartett Nr. 46 in f-Moll (“Razor Quartet” – „Rasiermesser-Quartett“), op. 55, Nr. 2, Hoboken-Nr. 61

Haydn, the diplomatic musician

The anecdote about the “Farewell Symphony”:
Haydn and the other musicians in the employ of the Esterhazy family spent much of the year staying at Schloss Esterhazy, separated from their wives and families in a remote corner of northwestern Hungary. During one particularly long residency, Haydn composed his “Farewell” Symphony (no. 45), in the last movement of which the instruments drop out of the score one at a time. At the first performance, each player, upon completing his part, blew out his candle and tiptoed away from the orchestra. Prince Esterhazy took the hint, and promptly granted his musicians a well-deserved leave of absence.

Youtube-video from the final concert of the 2008 David Oistrakh Festival in Pärnu, Estonia – Conductor: Neeme Järvi – the last sequences of the Farewell Symphony:

Die Schöpfung – the Creation

Von 1796 bis 1798 arbeitete Haydn an der “Schöpfung” und vollendete sie in seinem 66. Lebensjahr. Mit diesem Werk schuf der Komponist den bedeutendsten Beitrag zur Gattung des Oratoriums seit dem Tod Händels, der bereits 40 Jahre zurücklag. Gemäß der Genesis schildert Haydn den Schöpfungsakt und stellt das Lob Gottes in den Mittelpunkt.


Die Engländer traten in den Jahren 1794 und 1795 an Haydn heran, als er seine zweite Englandreise unternahm. Ob er sofort zusagte, ist fraglich, denn immerhin beherrschte er die englische Sprache kaum und darüber hinaus war ihm die Gattung des Oratoriums nicht sonderlich vertraut. Er kannte die großen Werke Händels, die ja in England in regelmäßigen Aufführungen gepflegt wurden, doch sein letztes eigenes Oratorium schuf Haydn als Jugendlicher. Es handelt sich dabei um Il ritorno di Tobia, ein recht unselbständiges Werk, das Haydn ganz nach italienischem Vorbild komponiert hatte.
Zwar hatte sich der Komponist immer wieder der Kirchenmusik zugewandt, doch das Oratorium spielte in seinem Schaffen bis 1796 keine Rolle. Dennoch nahm der Komponist den Text an und als er, gerade nach Wien zurückgekehrt, von seinem Freund und Gönner Gottfried van Swieten ebenfalls um ein Oratorium gebeten wurde, entschied sich Haydn für die Schöpfungsgeschichte. Van Swieten selbst übersetzte die englische Vorlage ins Deutsche und ergänzte dabei als Mitglied der Freimaurer-Loge entsprechendes Gedankengut.
Die Arbeit an der “Schöpfung” gestaltete sich für den Komponisten besonders mühsam. Von keinem seiner zahlreichen Werke gibt es mehr Skizzen und auch die Arbeitszeit von drei Jahren spricht für sich. Haydn war sich der Größe des Stoffes bewußt und hat sicherlich die Erwartungen, die man ihn stellte, geahnt. Aber es war nicht nur der religiöse Aspekt des Werkes, der ihn unter Druck setzte, sondern die “Schöpfung” sollte neben den großen Oratorien Händels bestehen können. Haydn arbeitete also mit äußerster Sorgfalt und Gottesfurcht. Später bekannte er einmal:

“Nie war ich so fromm als bei der Komposition der “Schöpfung”. Täglich fiel ich auf die Knie und bat Gott, daß er mich stärke für mein Werk.”

Am 6. April 1798 lies Haydn dem Fürsten Schwarzenberg mitteilen, daß er die Komposition vollendet habe. In seinem Palais plante man die Uraufführung, die noch im gleichen Monat (29. April) vor ausschließlich geladenen Gästen stattfand. Die erste öffentliche Aufführung lies fast ein Jahr auf sich warten, wurde im Wiener Hoftheater am 19. März 1799 gegeben und leitete den weltweiten Siegeszug des Werkes ein.