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Haydn and His World

Haydn and His World

Edited by Elaine Sisman
Copyright Date: 1997
Pages: 325
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  • Book Info
    Haydn and His World
    Book Description:

    Joseph Haydn's symphonies and string quartets are staples of the concert repertory, yet many aspects of this founding genius of the Viennese Classical style are only beginning to be explored. From local Kapellmeister to international icon, Haydn achieved success by developing a musical language aimed at both the connoisseurs and amateurs of the emerging musical public. In this volume, the first collection of essays in English devoted to this composer, a group of leading musicologists examines Haydn's works in relation to the aesthetic and cultural crosscurrents of his time.

    Haydn and His Worldopens with an examination of the contexts of the composer's late oratorios: James Webster connects theCreationwith the sublime--the eighteenth-century term for artistic experience of overwhelming power--and Leon Botstein explores the reception of Haydn'sSeasonsin terms of the changing views of programmatic music in the nineteenth century. Essays on Haydn's instrumental music include Mary Hunter on London chamber music as models of private and public performance, fortepianist Tom Beghin on rhetorical aspects of the Piano Sonata in D Major, XVI:42, Mark Evan Bonds on the real meaning behind contemporary comparisons of symphonies to the Pindaric ode, and Elaine R. Sisman on Haydn's Shakespeare, Haydn as Shakespeare, and "originality." Finally, Rebecca Green draws on primary sources to place one of Haydn's Goldoni operas at the center of the Eszterháza operatic culture of the 1770s.

    The book also includes two extensive late-eighteenth-century discussions, translated into English for the first time, of music and musicians in Haydn's milieu, as well as a fascinating reconstruction of the contents of Haydn's library, which shows him fully conversant with the intellectual and artistic trends of the era.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3182-1
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Elaine Sisman

    • Haydn, Shakespeare, and the Rules of Originality
      (pp. 3-56)

      This essay’s point of departure is Haydn’s celebrated description, late in life, of how he came to be “original.” To Griesinger, who was interviewing him for a biography, he put the best face on his years as Kapellmeister to Nicolaus Esterházy:

      My Prince was satisfied with all of my works; I received applause. As head of an orchestra, I could make experiments, observe what created an impression and what weakened it, and thus improve, add, make cuts, take risks. I was isolated from the world; no one in my vicinity could make me lose confidence in myself or bother me,...

    • The Creation, Haydn’s Late Vocal Music, and the Musical Sublime
      (pp. 57-102)

      In recent years, many “newer” musicologies have turned away from the ideal of absolute music, which had been dominant since the late nineteenth century, in favor of what I would call the various contextual aspects of music. Although this “turn” has primarily affected the understanding of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, as well as opera, scholars of eighteenth-century instrumental music have not been immune. Regarding Haydn, several recent studies have focused on his musical rhetoric;¹ the symphonies in particular have been interpreted in terms of their employment in the theater, extramusical associations, and “moral enlightenment.”² However, these treatments reflect the traditional...

    • Haydn’s London Piano Trios and His Salomon String Quartets: Private vs. Public?
      (pp. 103-130)

      It is a truism of the Haydn literature that the six string quartets of 1793 are “public” pieces, while the twelve late piano trios of 1795–1796 belong to a “private” musical sphere. That is, the string quartets Op. 71 and 74 were intended at least in the first instance for professional performance by Johann Peter Salomon and his quartet before London’s large paying concert audiences. By contrast, the piano trios Hob.XV:18-29, also published in London, are chamber music in a more literal sense, written largely for amateurs (however accomplished) to perform in rooms to which no admission was charged...

    • The Symphony as Pindaric Ode
      (pp. 131-153)

      Recent decades have witnessed great advances in our understanding of how Haydn’s symphonies were performed during his lifetime, yet we still know relatively little about how the composer’s contemporaries actually perceived this music. What did Haydn’s original audiences hear in his symphonies? In one sense, there ought to be as many answers to this question as there were individual listeners. But virtually none of those listeners recorded their views for posterity, so that the paucity of direct evidence makes it difficult to reconstruct even the basic, consistent attitudes toward Haydn’s symphonies during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, let...

    • Representing the Aristocracy: The Operatic Haydn and Le pescatrici
      (pp. 154-200)

      The subject of “Haydn” usually summons up the composer of instrumental music, a father whose progeny was generic rather than genetic, an artist whose musical authority is taken for granted, and an early middle-class success story: wheelwright’s son discovers fame and fortune in the concert halls of London. The operatic Haydn is a different subject altogether, a figure still only dimly recognizable despite the considerable time and energy he invested in dramatic music at Eszterháza. Indeed, he has proven to be something of an embarrassment, a kind of disappointingdoppelgängerto the father of the symphony and string quartet: for...

    • Haydn as Orator: A Rhetorical Analysis of his Keyboard Sonata in D Major, HOB.XVI:42
      (pp. 201-254)

      After Princess Maria Hermenegild married Haydn’s future patron Prince Nicolaus II Esterházy in 1783, Haydn dedicated three piano sonatas to her, publishing them with Bossler the following year. All three (Hob.XVI:40-42) are in two movements, a type called the “ladies’ sonata” by László Somfai, and all have fast, brilliant, and capricious finales.¹ Of the three finales, that in no. 42 handily beats the others in capriciousness. It is a scherzo in 2/4 with highly unusual proportions: the first section contains eight and the second ninety-three measures! Moreover, each section has a repeat sign, leading Franz Eibner to conclude that Bossler...

    • The Demise of Philosophical Listening: Haydn in the 19th Century
      (pp. 255-286)

      The history of the critical and cultural reception of music remains inextricably bound to shifting conceptions of what, in the final analysis, constitutes the work of music. When a historically discrete musical public—that is, listeners and amateur performers—maintains over time particular conceptions of how music functions, what music means, and what the essence of the musical experience is, expectations about music become a crucial factor in the formation of musical culture. Indeed, major shifts in reigning attitudes alter the course of compositional ambitions; they also force a reconstruction of the narrative of music history.¹

      The nineteenth century, for...


    • A Yearbook of the Music of Vienna and Prague, 1796 JOHANN FERDINAND RITTER VON SCHÖNFELD, VIENNA 1796
      (pp. 289-320)

      Johann Ferdinand Ritter von Schönfeld (1750-1821), originally from Prague and with a publishing house there, opened one in Vienna in 1783 and spent time in both places. His almanac lists him only as someone who holds private “dilettante academies,” or amateur concerts, at which “strangers are welcome.” He may or may not have written all the entries in this yearbook. In the preface he indicated that he hoped to follow up his effort with a regular series of such listings, but no more appeared under his name. The following translation comprises the preface and first three chapters of the yearbook,...

    • Remarks on the Development of the Art of Music in Germany in the Eighteenth Century JOHANN KARL FRIEDRICH TRIEST
      (pp. 321-394)

      Pastor Triest of Stettin (1764-1810) had a small but important role to play in music history. His ambitious serialized article on eighteenth-century German music appeared in the relatively new but influential periodical(Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung), put out by the important firm of Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig. It was significant in at least three respects. First, it argued for the pre-eminence of Johann Sebastian Bach in establishing a “German music,” and thus was preparatory to the “Bach revival” of the nineteenth century. Second, it applied Kant’s aesthetic ideas to music, especially in the idea of “pure” and “applied” music, much...

    • Joseph Haydn’s Library: Attempt at a Literary-Historical Reconstruction
      (pp. 395-462)

      In the ground-breaking 1976 volume of the Yearbook for Austrian Cultural History, Herbert Zeman edited a collection of essays and documents calledJoseph Haydn and the Literature of His Time.By revealing the intellectual and social contexts and institutions surrounding Haydn—the literary salons, correspondence, relationship to English literature, development of theater singing, and the like—the authors in the volume uncover Haydn as an involved and aware participant. The extent of this participation is palpably evident when we are permitted a glance—indeed, a long and intimate look—at the books on Haydn’s shelves. While Haydn’s books on music...

  6. Index
    (pp. 465-472)
  7. List of Contributors
    (pp. 473-474)