200 Years, Anniversary Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

haydnmania: the 2009 anniversary

Archive for life

Il mondo della luna – premiere

picture: ©Theater an der Wien

Have you ever flown to the moon thanks to nothing more than the power of your own imagination? In the summer of 1777, Joseph Haydn sent the guests at the prince’s wedding in Esterházy Palace into the fantastic universe with the aid of their imagination, some 190 years before the first moon landing. For “Il mondo della luna” he turned to a source that had already been successfully used for a number of operas and was written originally by the Italian comic poet Carlo Goldoni. Haydn created a work focusing on human longings, the fabled moon and a world turned on its head.

Ecclitico is in pursuit of Clarice while Ernesto loves her sister Flaminia. But Buonafede, the father of the two young ladies and an amateur astronomer, is strictly opposed to these matches. He is also suspicious of the growing affection his servant Cecco is showing towards the maid Lisetta, especially since he has his own designs on her. But the young lovers refuse to give in to pressure. They trick the moonstruck Buonafede into believing he has been transported to the moon. A journey of discovery into outer space and the joys of love merge in the family garden into an increasingly manic muddle. The result: a bull’s eye! At the end a triple wedding is in the offing!

In Haydn’s musical evocation of the surface of the moon, there are fragrant flowers and lush woodland instead of rocks and dust, birdsong and lyrically brilliant arias instead of silence. Haydn was internationally renowned for his operas all his life and was even invited to undertake spectacular journeys to England. No wonder, because this score by the wittiest composer of Viennese classical music is simply bursting with creativity and is perfect for becoming “moonstruck”!

Il mondo della luna

composer: Joseph Haydn, in 1777
libretto: Carlo Goldoni
conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt
director: Tobias Moretti
orchestra: Concentus Musicus Vienna ( N. Harnoncourt’s orchestra)
Premiere: Sat, 05.12.2009 – 7:00 p.m.

at “Theater an der Wien”

the Haydn Church

Here a video introducing the Haydn Church in Eisenstadt, where Haydn worked – and, at least is buried in the “Haydn Mausoleum”:

Haydn at Esterháza (Fertöd, Hungary)

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“…Well, here I sit in my wilderness – forsaken – like a poor waif – almost without any human society – melancholy – full of the memories of past glorious days – yes! past alas! – and who knows when these days shall return again? Those wonderful parties? Where the whole circle is one heart, one soul – all these beautiful musical evenings – which can only be remebered and not described – where are all these enthusiastic moments? – all gone – and gone for a long time…”

This is the beginning of one of Haydn’s remarkable letters, written to Maria Anna von Grenzinger in February 1790 shortly after his return to Eszterháza from the Christmas season in Vienna. This letter contains a rare glimpse of Haydn out of livery as “Capellmeister of His Highness the Prince (Esterházy) in whose service I live and die”, as Haydn had styled himself in another well-known letter, his autobiography of 1776.

When Baron Riesbeck visited Esterháza in the 1780s he observed that “The Neusiedler See, from which the castle is not far removed, makes miles of swamp and threatens in time to swallow up all the land right up to the Prince’s dwelling.” When Haydn used the term Einöde to refer to Esterháza he was perhaps translating the Hungarian term for the marshy plains of the area – puszta, which means “wilderness”.

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Haydn’s life at Esterháza apparently hinged on extremes of luxury and privation. Descriptions of the Hungarian Paradise invariably dwell on the lavish furnishings, exquisite collections, and dazzling theatrical entertainments that won it so many accolades.

At Esterháza Haydn lived with the other musicians, singers and traveling players in the Musicians’ Building, a two stried building of 250 rooms. It was from his appartment there that he wrote his letters to von Genzinger.

link to my article “visiting Esterháza Palace”

visiting Esterhàza Palace (Fertöd, Hungary)

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Whow, what an impressive ensemble: Esterháza Castle, at Fertöd, Hungary (google map) – just half an hour to go, from the Austria-Hungarian border at Sopron!
1767 Prince Nikolaus (later called “the Magnificent”) visited Versailles and became inspired to build this Castle – on a place that, at this time, was  “in the middle of nowhere”.
1768 also a Opera house was built there – the first performance was Haydn’s opera “Lo speciale”.

the 2 scultpures (here the model) of Haydn (left) and the Prince Esterházy (up on the balcony) will be built in bronce nest year.

the 2 scultptures (here the model) of Haydn (left) and the Prince Esterházy (up on the balcony) will be built in bronce next year.

The most famous and importend people of the aera have spent time here, e.g. Empress Maria Theresia loved to be a guest in Esterháza, ’cause “…if you want to listen to the best music you have to go to Esterháza…”.

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the male’s (prince’s) bedroom with the “secret” door:
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What I have to mention: all the people working in Esterháza were overwhelming friendly and gracious (special thanks to Erna and Tünde!), tried very patiently to answer all our questions and celebrated great hospitality. At least we spent more than 5 hours (!) there – and did not see yet the gigantic historic gardens!
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Prince Paul Anton still lives there, although the Esterháza Palace today belongs to the National Administration Departement of Historical Buildings.

Enjoy a visit there! And one of the exhibitions or one of the many concerts during the Haydn-anniversary-year!
On saturday, august 8, 2009 the opening event of an extraordinary exhibition of contemporary art starts at Esterháza Castle:
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Andreas Roseneder: “Haydn reloaded” – a modern painters view on the genius, his life and works and his surrounding. New paintings and objects as result of Roseneder’s artwork about Haydn.

link: www.mag.hu

international fame at lifetime: J.H.!

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One of the most eloquent visual illustrations of Joseph Haydn’s international fame was Goya’s magnificent portrait of the Spanish Duke of Alba holding a book of Haydn’s Four Songs with Pianoforte Accompaniment, now in the Prado.

today, 200 years ago, on may 31, 1809


haydn by Andreas Roseneder

Haydn, modern view – by Andreas Roseneder

Today is the great Anniversary Day for Joseph Haydn! Exactly 200 years ago he died on may 31, 1809 in Vienna in the age of 77.
Among his last words was his attempt to calm and reassure his servants when cannon shot fell in the neighborhood. (The french army under Napoleon was in Vienna):  “My children, have no fear, for where Haydn is, no harm can fall.”
Two weeks later, a memorial service was held in the Schottenkirche on June 15, 1809, at which Mozart’s Requiem was performed. (Mozart died before Haydn, they met 1781 for the first time and stayed friends since Mozart died in 1791)

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The Anniversary Ceremonies in Eisenstadt began in the middle of the night: at 0.40 a.m. the bells of the Haydnchurch began to ring (it was the hour of Joseph Haydn’s death) and a commemoration was held there.
Todays further program:
at 9.00 a.m. Haydn’s “Schöpfungsmesse” (Creation Mass) is celebrated, with Bishop Dr. Paul Iby, the Hadnorchestra & Choir – (live in ORF)
at 11.00 a.m. Haydn’s “The Creation”, live in TV from the Haydnsaal, Esterhazy Castle: with The Austro-Hungarian Philharmonics under Adam Fischer, with the singer Anette Dasch and Thomas Quasthoff!!!

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“The Creation” was played to honour Joseph Haydn at his 76th birthday at the Old University Hall in Vienna on march 27, 1808. Joseph Haydn was there, Antonio Salieri was conducting, Beethoven kissed his hands, the audience was enthusiastic! In the front, sitting on a chair in the middle: Joseph Haydn. – Watercolor by Balthasar Wigand, who was also there.

– and here the (tv-)pictures from “the Creation”, live from Haydnsaal:

Thomas Quasthoff, Anette Dasch

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Anette Dasch & Thomas Quasthoff

Präsident Dr. Heinz Fischer, "The Creation" at Esterházy Castle

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I’ll celebrate this day and have a few thankfully thoughts on Haydn!

a special “Haydn-weekend” – on air (tv)!

For those, who aren’t able to watch the Austrian Broadcasting “ORF”, a real great satellite-tipp:
on monday, june 1st 2009, you can watch at the  ORF European satellite-channel the Haydn-documentation “HEUTE SCHON HAYDN GEHÖRT? (“Have you already been listening to Haydn today?”) – 200 years after Joseph Haydn’s death on the trail of the great composer.

june 1, at 5.05 p.m. – ORF 2 Europe (information-pdf, english, spanish, german to download)

Reception
• Satellite ASTRA ORF transponder (117)
• Position 19.2 degrees east
• Frequency 12,692 GHz
• Polarization Horizontal
• Symbol rate 22,000
• FEC 5/6
ORF 2 EUROPE (ORF 2E) is easy to find using the automatic channel search function.
Technology:
ORF 2 EUROPE is a free-to-air channel available through the ASTRA digital satellite – its reception requires a digital satellite reception set.

If there’s a possibility to post a stream-link to the Haydn-live-event “The Creation, live from Eisenstadt”
(with the Austria-Hungarian-Haydn-Philharmonie and the Vienna Chamberchoir, directed by  Adam Fischer – and the singer Annette Dasch, Thomas Quasthoff and Christoph Strehlon)
on sunday, june 31, I’ll post it here!