200 Years, Anniversary Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

haydnmania: the 2009 anniversary

Archive for anecdote

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!!!

poll #1: who said this …?

The solution will follow soon!

…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: