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Haydn

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Susannah Dingley
576812.  Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:56 am Reply with quote

Since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809), why not have a thread to this rather underappreciated composer.

Haydn was a prolific composer. (In fact, most composers of his time were.) His works include 175 works for the baryton, an obsolete stringed instrument played by his patron Prince Niklaus Esterházy. It was an instrument that was technically very difficult to play – so it’s not surprising that it has not survived. Haydn wrote over a hundred trios for baryton, viola and cello.

Another interesting, and more well known, fact is that the theme for the present-day German national anthem was composed by Haydn. The theme comes from the second movement of his String Quartet in C Major, Op.76 No.3; it was also at one time the official anthem of the Austrian Empire, and was called the Kaiserhymne. It was sung to the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (Kaiser Franz I of Austria) on his brithday on 12 February 1797 – the first line was: “Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser” (“God save Franz, the Emperor”). By the way, the first line of the current German national anthem is not “Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles”! Stpehen Fry famously put this to the audience in Series E Episode 5 of QI; the audience got it wrong, and Stephen promptly gave them a score of −100! And that would have been the lowest score ever achieved on QI had it not been for two even worse scores from Alan Davies in Series D, −144 in Episode 7 and −29 million in Episode 8!


Last edited by Susannah Dingley on Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:30 am; edited 3 times in total

 
zomgmouse
576832.  Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:39 am Reply with quote

He was classical music's Haydn light.

 
djgordy
577073.  Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:08 pm Reply with quote

So that's where all those emoticons went.

 
GL5
578823.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:24 pm Reply with quote

Haydn/s style is similar in many ways to those of Mozart and Schubert, but whereas Mozart and Schubert tended to be conservative, never straying too far from well-tested techiniques, the hallmark of Haydn's genius is his wit and creativity. Haydn was never afraid to experiment and was always coming up with some new tricks or other. His symphonies, for example, are full of surprises. The finale of Symphony #90 has a false ending: after a perfect cadence, the entire orchestra is silent for four whole bars, fooling the audience into thinking the music is over and applauding prematurely. I've seen concerts in which unsophisticated audiences are actually fooled into this trap!

 
Ian Dunn
578866.  Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:19 pm Reply with quote

One of my favourite Goon Show jokes concerns Haydn.

Quote:
Grytpype: It's Moriarty. Where are you?

Moriarty: Here, in the piano.

Grytpype: Why are you there?

Moriarty: I'm hiding.

Grytpype: Don't be silly, Haydn's been dead for years.

 
Susannah Dingley
582801.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:36 pm Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:
His symphonies, for example, are full of surprises. The finale of Symphony #90 has a false ending: after a perfect cadence, the entire orchestra is silent for four whole bars, fooling the audience into thinking the music is over and applauding prematurely. I've seen concerts in which unsophisticated audiences are actually fooled into this trap!

A concert featuring this symphony was given in April by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Edward Gardner; the concert was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 last evening.

And the audience that time WERE caught out!

 
GL5
582948.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:36 am Reply with quote

Here's a YouTube video of part of the third movement and the last movement of the synphony (BBC Philharmonic / Gianandrea Noseda). That audience was nevertheless too clever to be lured into the trap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDut2Ifvj6s

I'd love to find a YouTube video featuring a more gullible audience though.

 
Zaphod Beeblebrox
590414.  Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:56 pm Reply with quote

Haydn was very important in the development of musical genres, and is known as the Father of the String Quartet and the Father of the Symphony. Partly for this reason, partly through affection felt towards him by musicians he was in charge of in his job in the Eszterhazy Court, and partly (mainly during C19 after his death) as a sort of caricature of Haydn as a kindly old man, he was, and still is, often referred to as Papa Haydn.

Quote:
His symphonies, for example, are full of surprises


There's a rhyme that goes to the first few bars of the Surprise Symphony (No. 94):

Papa Haydn's dead and gone
but his memory lingers on.
When his heart was filled with bliss
he wrote merry tunes like this.

:)

 
Susannah Dingley
591356.  Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:49 am Reply with quote

Haydn’s Symphony № 60 in C Major is now being played on BBC Radio 3’s programme “Classical Collection”.

The nickname “Il Distratto” comes from the title of a play by Jean-François Regnard, Le Distrait (“The Distracted One”), for which Haydn had written the incidental music now incorporated in the symphony.

“Classical Collection” presenter Sarah Walker decribes the symphony as “containing all manner of lunacy” – one instance being that it has six rather than the usual four movements. In the finale, the violins forget that their first string have been “wrongly” tuned to F instead of G! Several bars into the music, they suddenly remember – and the music stops for them to re-tune their G string! The instructions at bar 23 are “die Violinen stimmen um von F auf G” – “the violins tune up from F to G”! Here is a MIDI file of this comical movement.



The technique of tuning a stringed instrument differently from the way in which it is normally tuned for the performance of a particular piece of musical composition is called scordatura – something the ever inventive Haydn is to use again in the trio of his Symphony No.67.


Last edited by Susannah Dingley on Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:01 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Sheriff Fatman
591963.  Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:30 pm Reply with quote

[quote="GL5" That audience was nevertheless too clever to be lured into the trap.[/quote]

Hearing it before doesn't make you 'clever' and not knowing about a false end doesn't make you 'unsophisticated'. It's no wonder classical music 'fans' have a reputation for being snobbish.

 
GL5
592063.  Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:20 am Reply with quote

Perhaps you are not aware that there are people who have never heard the work before who nevertheless didn't get caught out on hearing it the first time? Equally, there are also people who have heard it before who still get caught out on hearing it again. It's no wonder people who have no knowledge of classical music have a reputation for being noobish.

 
Flash
592082.  Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:52 am Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:
there are people who have never heard the work before who nevertheless didn't get caught out on hearing it the first time

How's that, then? Is there a clue in the music that they were able to pick up?

The reason I ask is that this would seem to have scope as a question for the show. We could get them to play musical chairs (with a forfeit for making their move before the piece finishes) and then back it up with the interesting info about "you should have known that wasn't the end because of this bit ..."

 
GL5
592117.  Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:00 am Reply with quote

Well, I have been to a concert in which the symphony was played; after the performance, I heard someone say that he had known it wasn't the end of the music because of the conductor's body language. He said he had not heard the work before, but because the conductor didn't lower his baton during the false-ending pause, he kenw it wasn't time to applaud yet.

Now that's what I call sophisticated. Having heard a work before may not make you sophisticated, I grant that, but being able to interpret a conductor's signals as a member of the audience certainly does.

Playing musical chairs on the show would indeed be fun. I'd love to see it.

 
Sheriff Fatman
592526.  Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:33 pm Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:
Well, I have been to a concert in which the symphony was played; after the performance, I heard someone say that he had known it wasn't the end of the music because of the conductor's body language. He said he had not heard the work before, but because the conductor didn't lower his baton during the false-ending pause, he kenw it wasn't time to applaud yet.

Now that's what I call sophisticated. Having heard a work before may not make you sophisticated, I grant that, but being able to interpret a conductor's signals as a member of the audience certainly does.

Playing musical chairs on the show would indeed be fun. I'd love to see it.


I've been at concerts were it is quite impossible to see the conductor, does that mean that I am less sophisticated. Maybe those less sophisticated people happened to be looking somewhere other than the conductor at that exact point, I know it's strange but it does happen.

Reading body language isn't sophistication, it's a massive part of human interaction and communication and 5 year old children can do it.

 
Sheriff Fatman
592529.  Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:38 pm Reply with quote

GL5 wrote:
Perhaps you are not aware that there are people who have never heard the work before who nevertheless didn't get caught out on hearing it the first time? Equally, there are also people who have heard it before who still get caught out on hearing it again. It's no wonder people who have no knowledge of classical music have a reputation for being noobish.


Perhaps you are not aware that not agreeing with your point about how clever and sophisticated you think people who don't get caught out by a false end are doesn't make you have no knowledge of classical music and therefore knobbish (I take it that is what you were trying to spell. It might also have been snobbish but it's so hard to tell being that I am so unclever and unsophisticated that I can't guess something that has zero pointers).

 

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