Saturday, March 31, 2018

Project 366 - Hooked on Haydn

Project 366 continues in 2017-18 with "Time capsules through the Musical Eras - A Continued journey through the Western Classical Music Repertoire". Read more here.

After a series on Mozart, this month’s installment of our Time Capsules through the Repertoire take an extended look at Joseph Haydn, who represents one of the main characters in the evolution  of the Classical style in music during the 18th century. He helped establish the forms and styles for the string quartet and the symphony. - he stars in all but one of our listener guides this month, but you'll notice how much he overlaps with his contemporaries.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

Franz Joseph Haydn was recruited at age 8 to the sing in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, where he went on to learn to play violin and keyboard. Haydn soon became an assistant to composer Nicola Porpora in exchange for lessons, and in 1761 he was named Kapellmeister, or "court musician," at the palace of the influential Esterházy family, a position that would financially support him for nearly 30 years. Isolated at the palace from other composers and musical trends, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original."

While Haydn rose in the Esterházy family's esteem, his popularity outside the palace walls also increased, and he eventually wrote as much music for publication as for the family. Several important works of this period were commissions from abroad, such as the Paris symphonies (1785-1786) and the original orchestral version of "The Seven Last Words of Christ" (1786). Haydn came to feel sequestered and lonely, however, missing friends back in Vienna, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, so in 1791, when a new Esterházy prince let Haydn go, he quickly accepted an invitation to go to England to conduct new symphonies with German violinist and impresario Johan Peter Salomon. He would return to London again in 1794 for another successful and lucrative season.

The Hoboken catalog (Joseph Haydn, Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis)

Anthony van Hoboken created a catalog of the complete works of Haydn, which is the go-to reference.  . It is intended to cover the composer's entire oeuvre and includes over 750 entries. The Haydn catalog that now bears Hoboken's name was begun in card format in 1934; work continued until the publication of the third and final book volume in 1978.

Our Hatdn time capsules are presented here in the context of the Hoboken catalog.

Category I – The Symphonies

Listener Guide # 164 – Classical Symphonies. This opening listener guide features three classical symphonies by Haydn, Mozart and Spain’s Arriaga. (ITYWLTMT Montage #216 – Feb 26 2016)

Listener Guide # 165 – The Paris Symphonies. The Paris symphonies are a group of six symphonies commissioned by the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, music director of the orchestra the Masonic Loge Olympique. This listener guide presents two of these symphonies, one of which was dedicated to Marie-Antoinette. (ITYWLTMT Montage #104 - 10 May 2013)

Listener Guide # 166 – The London Symphonies. Sometimes called the Salomon symphonies after Johann Peter Salomon who introduced London to Joseph Haydn, the London Symphonies can be categorized into two groups: Symphonies Nos. 93–98, which were composed during Haydn's first visit to London, and Symphonies Nos. 99–104, composed in Vienna and London for Haydn's second visit. This listener guide contains three of the 12 – Symphonies 97, 102 and 103. (Once Upon the Internet #57 – 13 June 2017).

(More Haydn Symphonies in Listener Guides # 28, 31 and 86)

Category VII – Concertos

Listener Guide # 167 – The Cello concertos. This listener guide the two cello concertos, wioth the Symphony no. 44 as filler. (Once Upon the Internet #13 – 14 May 2013).

Listener Guide # 168 –Haydn at the keyboard. This time capsule presents Sonatas 48, 49 and 50 along with a pair of piano concertos. (ITYWLTMT Montage #249 - 30 May, 2017)

(More Haydn Symphonies in Listener Guides # 41)

Listener Guide # 169– Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross (Categry XX) The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross  was a commission made in 1786 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva (Holy Cave Oratory) in Cádiz, Spain. Published in 1787 and performed then in Paris, Berlin and Vienna. The composer adapted it in 1787 for string quartet (here) and in 1796 as an oratorio (with both solo and choral vocal forces), and he approved a version for solo piano.(Cover 2 Cover # 7 - March 13, 2018)

Categories XXI and XXIV – Cantatas, Choruses and Arias

Listener Guides # 170-171 – The Seasons. Haydn was led to write The Seasons by the great success of his previous oratorio The Creation, which had become very popular and was in the course of being performed all over Europe. The libretto for The Seasons was prepared for Haydn, just as with The Creation, by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, based on extracts from the long English poem "The Seasons" by James Thomson (1700–1748), which had been published in 1730. (Once or Twice a Fortnight - March 17, 2017)

(L/G 170)

(L/G 171)

Listener Guide # 172 – Mini Operas. A set of short, one-aria operas meant to stand alone in concert, and in some cases sound like they’re taken out of a larger (contemporaneous) operatic work, inspired by a character from literature. (ITYWLTMT Montage #253 - July 14, 2017)

(More Haydn Vocal works in Listener Guides # 102)

Franz Joseph Haydn was among the creators of the fundamental genres of classical music, and his influence upon later composers is immense. Haydn’s most celebrated pupil was Ludwig van Beethoven, and his musical form casts a huge shadow over the music of subsequent composers such as Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

Listener Guide # 173 – Classical Keybiard. This last time capsule completes our look at some of the great composers of the Classical era, with a specific focus on solo piano music. (ITYWLTMT Montage # 272 - February 23, 2018)