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Ten books about Haydn

I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original.
– Franz Joseph Haydn
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Today often referred to by the moniker 'Papa Haydn', Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) is commonly accepted as one of the defining composers of the Viennese Classical school alongside Mozart and Beethoven. In his own time, Haydn was well known for his witty music in all genres: chamber music, liturgical music, opera, symphonies and more.

These ten books provide a more complete portrait of Haydn ranging from his first biography dictated to his friend Georg August Griesinger to more contemporary scholarly studies by Somfai, Beghin, Drabkin and more.

The Keyboard Sonatas of Joseph Haydn

In this landmark publication, the most comprehensive study written on Haydn's keyboard sonatas, a leading Haydn scholar presents novel ideas, corrects misconceptions, and offers new hypotheses on long-debated issues of early music research. Laszlo Somfai begins with a thorough study of Haydn's keyboard instruments and their development. After recommending instruments appropriate for modern use, he discusses performance practice and style, explains the peculiarities of Haydn's manuscripts in the context of eighteenth-century notation, and provides specific suggestions for playing ornaments, improvising, slurring, and dynamics. He also investigates Haydn's sonata genres within their historical context and discusses the problems of establishing a chronology of their composition. Finally, Somfail analyzes the organization and style of each musical form. The book includes an index listing the sonatas by date of first publication and an extensive bibliography.

Haydn and the Performance of Rhetoric

Haydn is the last major composer whose music was regularly discussed by his contemporaries in terms derived from the classical tradition of rhetoric. Within a generation of his death, that discourse had fallen from favor, but the historical relationship between Haydn and the rhetorical tradition endured. In this volume, a distinguished group of contributors in fields from classics to literature to musicology restores the rhetorical model to prominence and shows what can be achieved by returning to the idea of music as a rhetorical process. An accompanying DVD, specially designed for this project, presents performances and illustrations keyed to the book's chapters, making musicological arguments accessible to nonspecialists and advancing additional arguments of its own through the medium of performance. The volume thus reaches beyond musicology to enrich and complicate the larger debate over rhetoric's role in eighteenth-century culture.

The Cambridge Companion to Haydn

This Companion provides an accessible and up-to-date introduction to the musical work and cultural world of Joseph Haydn. Readers will gain an understanding of the changing social, cultural, and political spheres in which Haydn studied, worked, and nurtured his creative talent. Distinguished contributors provide chapters on Haydn and his contemporaries, his working environments in Eisenstadt and Eszterhaza, and humor and exoticism in Haydn's oeuvre. Chapters on the reception of his music explore keyboard performance practices, Haydn's posthumous reputation, sound recordings and images of his symphonies. The book also surveys the major genres in which Haydn wrote, including symphonies, string quartets, keyboard sonatas and trios, sacred music, miscellaneous vocal genres, and operas composed for Eszterhaza and London.

A Reader's Guide to Haydn's Early String Quartets

The six string quartets comprising Joseph Haydn's Opus 20 (composed in 1772) are the first works in the genre to have received consistent critical attention from writers on music. The twenty-two quartets Haydn wrote before this date, though rarely discussed by historians and theorists and seldom performed in public, are nevertheless fundamental to the development of the quartet and thus inseparable from Opus 20 itself. This thoughtful discussion provides a basis upon which to study the quartet by showing how the relationship among the four players can best be understood as a musical dialogue. A methodology is developed for analyzing these quartets by focusing on the characteristics of string instruments that inform not only the style of the music, but also the materials of the composition. The changing relationships among the instruments reveal the level of sophistication evident in Haydn's early works and attest to the affinity these works have with his later masterpieces. Music scholars and educators will appreciate the generous musical examples and clear prose that explains the more detailed analysis of the Opus 20 set.

Haydn: The 'Paris' Symphonies

Haydn's Symphonies Nos. 82-7 are seminal works in Haydn's output and mark a new level of compositional attainment, launching the important cycle of mature Haydn symphonies written for an international audience. Three chapters of the book deal with the reception of Haydn's symphonies in Paris, documenting the extent to which they dominated the repertoire of important public concert series. The aesthetic basis of Haydn's reception in Paris in the 1780s is considered in discussions of the notions of 'popular' and 'learned' taste and such notions inform the commentaries on the symphonies themselves. Thus as well as discussing technical features of Symphonies Nos. 82-7, broader concerns include the relationship between orchestral splendour and eighteenth-century notions of beauty; the relationship between genius, originality and convention; irony and humour; and the updating of popular orchestral taste.

Haydn and the enlightenment

Schroeder here sets out to challenge the widely held view of Haydn as an inspired instrumental musician who composed in isolation from 18th-century enlightened thinking. By means of both documentary and musical investigation the author seeks instead to present him as a culturally and politically sensitive representative of the Age of Englightement. Haydn's awareness of contemporary aesthetic opinion and the tenets of the Enlightenment is reflected by the transformations in his own compositional style, and there are fascinating implications here for our understanding of instrumental music from the second half of the eighteenth century. Of fundamental importance in this survey is Haydn's relationship with his audience, which, it is argued, had a significant bearing on the nature of the works. The author suggests that Haydn was well acquainted with the contemporary view that works of literature or music should serve a moral function and he points to numerous instances in the late symphonies where this end is effectively pursued. For the eighteenth century, however, morality did not imply dullness; indeed, its goals were best served through wit, humour, popular appeal, and beauty, as well as through intellectual challenge.


This definitive study of the life and works of Joseph Haydn represents half a century of research. As a curator of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, Dr. Geiringer was in charge of one of the world's leading Hayden collections. His scholarly investigations took him to various monasteries, to libraries in Eisenstadt, Prague, Berlin, Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., and, as a guest of the Hungarian government, to the previously almost inaccessible archives of the Princes of Esterhazy in Budapest. In the past decade, Haydn studies have progressed enormously. A thematic catalog is now available, and a substantial part of Haydn's vast creative output is accessible in critically revised editions. The new edition of Hayden: A Creatie Life in Music has been substantially rewritten to incorporate the results of recent research and to remove the tarnish that had assimilated on the picture of Haydn in the earlier years.

Playing Before the Lord

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809) has been called the father of the symphony and the string quartet. A friend of Mozart and a teacher of Beethoven, "Papa" Haydn composed an amazing variety of music -- symphonies, string quartets, concerti, masses, operas, oratorios, keyboard works -- and his prolific output celebrates both the heights and depths of life. In this fascinating book Calvin Stapert combines his skills as a biographer and a musicologist to recount Haydn's steady rise from humble origins to true musical greatness. Unlike other biographers, Stapert argues that Haydn's work was a product of his devout Catholic faith, even though he worked mainly as a court musician and the bulk of his output was in popular genres. In addition to telling Haydn's life story, Stapert includes accessible listening guides to The Creation and portions of other well-known works to help Haydn listeners more fully appreciate the brilliance behind his music.

The Land of Opportunity

On more than one occasion the great composer Joseph Haydn remarked that he became well known in his own country only after he had made two visits to London in the 1790s. Although he was connected with the Esterhazy court for over forty years and his music was performed in many of Europe's major cities, London was to be the only European city, apart from Vienna, to welcome the composer in person. He engaged fully with its musical life during his two visits in the 1790s and responded readily to its commercial vitality, later telling his biographer Albert Christoph Dies that it was his 'land of opportunity'. The essays in this volume examine the relationship between the composer and the commercial, political and social world and help explain the unparalleled popularity Haydn and his music have enjoyed ever since. Contributors: David Wyn Jones, Thomas Tolley, Alan Davison, Caroline Grigson, David Rowland, Balazs Mikusi, Otto Biba, Ingrid Fuchs, Rupert Ridgewell, Christopher Wiley, Arthur Searle

Joanna has twice won certificates of honour (and a free beer) for demonstrating “extraordinary courage against the unsurmountable Phaal”, a ludicrously spicy curry.


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