These days Nikolaus Harnoncourt‘s statement about Joseph Haydn was published. He said, that Haydn was always willing to risk the newest. The reason was the isolation and originality of Haydn. He was not influenzed by others – the Esterházy Castle in Eisenstadt (where Haydn lived for 30 years) was far away from any scenery – and therefore Joseph Haydn didn’t have to continue any method or habit.
Harnoncourt also said that Haydn had his own ( excellent & international !) orchester and his own audience, so he was extremely independent.
Haydn was an exception owing to those circumstances.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt himself became tasted by Haydn’s music in his student years. Even his parents liked to play chamber music of Haydn. When Nikolaus Harnoncout founded the Concentus with his wife they had just Haydn on their first program!
How would he describe Haydn? – he was asked.
“…If someone has an idea of Haydn, then I would describe Haydn as one of the few musical universal genius. And the second sentence would be: With an extra bit of humour,” said Harnoncourt.
Harnoncourt conducts Haydn (2009, vienna) – video:
Spring begins (on saturday, 21 march 09) with a special Haydn-evening at “3sat”-TV with
“Joseph Haydn: my language is understood throughout the world” (at 20.15 p.m.) and
Joseph Haydn’s “Te Deum für Fürst Nikolaus Esterhazy” C-Dur HOB 23 (at 23.05 p.m.)
(3sat on Satelite: “ASTRA” (1F) auf 19,2 Degree East, Transponder 10, vertical Polarisation, Frequenz 11,347 Ghz, Stereo 7.02 / 7.20, Monoton on 6.50 )