(Born at Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732;
died at Vienna, May 31, 1809)
HAYDN HAS BEEN sadly misunderstood by present followers of tradition who have spoken of him as a man of the old school, while Mozart was a forerunner of Beethoven. Thus they erred. Mozart summed up the school of his day and wrote imperishable music. There has been only one Mozart, and there is no probability of another being born for generations to come; but Haydn was often nearer in spirit to the young Beethoven. It is customary to speak lightly of Haydn as an honest Austrian who wrote light‐ hearted allegros, also minuets by which one is not reminded of a court with noble dames smiling graciously on gallant cavaliers, but sees peasants thumping the ground with heavy feet and uttering joyful cries.
It is said carelessly that Haydn was a simple fellow who wrote at ease many symphonies and quartets that, to quote Berlioz, recall "the innocent joys of the fireside and the pot-au-feu." But Haydn was shrewd and observing—read his diary, kept in London—and if he was plagued with a shrewish wife he found favor with other women. Dear Mrs. Schroeter of London received letters from him breathing love, not manly complimentary affection. And it is said of Haydn that he was only sportive in his music, having a fondness for the bassoon. But Haydn could express tenderness, regret, sorrow in his music.
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Publication information: Book title: Philip Hale's Boston Symphony Programme Notes:Historical, Critical, and Descriptive Comment on Music and Composers. Contributors: John N. Burk - Editor, Philip Hale - Author. Publisher: Doubleday, Doran. Place of publication: Garden City, NY. Publication year: 1935. Page number: 154.
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