Blog topic: Music

Il Sodoma. Cupid in a landscape (1510)

Haydn's duets for lovers

January 16, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Deux Duos avec accompagnement de piano forte:
Saper vorrei se m’ami, HXXVa:1

Guarda qui, che lo vedrai, HXXVa:2
À Bonn : Chez N. Simrock., [1803 or 1804]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 490

Link to downloadable images of this work

This pair of pastoral duets for soprano, tenor, and piano were composed in 1796, a highly productive year for Haydn.  Other major works Haydn composed  that year include the Trumpet Concerto, the Missa Sancti Bernardi de Offida (‘Heiligmesse’), and the Missa in tempore belli (‘Paukenmesse’)The librettist was Carlo Francesco Badini, whom Haydn met while in London. Badini worked for the Italian opera house, and also supplied the libretto to Haydn's last opera, L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice

Haydn's signature

Haydn's sonata for a Parisian lady

January 14, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Dernière sonate pour le piano forte, avec accompaniment de violon
À Paris : publiée par Naderman ; À Londres : par Clementi & Co., [1821]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 498

Link to downloadable images of this work

In advance of a visit to Paris in 1803, Prince Esterházy asked Haydn to compose a new piano sonata as a gift for Louise-Alexandrine-Eugénie Moreau, the French-Creole wife of the famous general Jean Victor Moreau, and hostess of an influential Paris salon. Haydn, pleading illness, sent instead a copy of the sonata for piano with violin and 'cello accompaniment (HXV:31) minus the somewhat superfluous ‘cello part.  In an accompanying letter to Madame Moreau, Haydn apologizes for not composing something new, due to his failing health, and promises to fulfill his duties once he regains his strength.

Winter in the Viennese woods

The Seasons, and Haydn slows down

January 8, 2015
by Ray Heigemeir

Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons)
Leipzig : Breitkopf & Härtel, [1802]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 494

Link to downloadable images of this work: volume one | volume two

Composition, performance and publication of The Seasons quickly followed the resounding success of The Creation. The libretto, also provided by Baron von Swieten, was a fragmented adaptation of James Thompson’s epic poem, first published in the 1730s and which enjoyed broad popularity at the end of the century. The private premiere took place at the Schwarzenberg Winter Palace on April 24, 1801, and the public premiere took place in the Redoutensaal at the Hofburg Palace, on May 29 of that same year.

Broadwood grand piano, 1810

Haydn’s English songs: the canzonettas

November 24, 2014
by Ray Heigemeir

Dr. Haydn's VI original canzonettas for the voice with an accompaniment for the Piano-Forte : dedicated to Mrs. John Hunter. London : Printed for the Author, & Sold by him at No. 1, Bury Street, St. James - at Messrs. Corri, Dussek & Co. Music Sellers to her Majesty, No. 7 Dean Street, Soho & Bridge Street, Edinburgh, [1794-1795]

Second sett of Dr. Haydn's VI original canzonettas : for the voice with an accompaniment for the piano forte / dedicated to the Right Honble. Lady Charlotte Bertie. London : Printed & sold for Messrs. Corri, Dussek & Co., [1795?]

Download images of the complete works: First set | Second set

What a time Haydn must have had during his London stays in the early 1790s! Already hailed as a great composer, and preceded by the performance and publication of numerous successful works including symphonies, string quartets, and works for keyboard, he was eagerly embraced by London society.

As reported in the Lady’s Magazine, January 1791:

“A remarkable circumstance happened this evening, in the ball-room at St. James's. Haydn, the celebrated composer, though he has not yet been introduced at our court, was recognised by all the royal family, and paid them his silent respects. Mr. Haydn came into the room with Sir John Gallini, Mr. Wills, and Mr. Salomon. The prince of Wales first observed him, and upon bowing to him, the eyes of all the company were upon Mr. Haydn, everyone paying him respect.”

Naxos temple gate

Haydn's "exquisitely captivating" Arianna a Naxos

November 20, 2014
by Ray Heigemeir

Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2
London, Printed for the author [1791], signed by the composer

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 489

Link to downloadable images of this work

Arianna a Naxos was first published by Artaria in Vienna in 1790, followed by this London edition printed for Haydn by John Bland and first offered for sale on June 10, 1791. Bland was instrumental in bringing Haydn to London, and provided Haydn’s first lodging there in January 1791. Bland had visited Haydn at Eszterháza. One day during Haydn’s grooming routine, he heard the composer complain about his dull razors. “I’d give my best quartet for a pair of good razors,” he exclaimed, upon which Bland raced back to his room, grabbed his new British razors, and presented them to Haydn. In exchange Bland received the manuscript for the Quartet, op. 55 No.2, the “Razor” Quartet.  Or so the story goes.  We do know that Bland took away the manuscript for Arianna and a contract to publish Haydn’s flute trios.

Q.R.S Playasax roll

Roll for a Player...Saxophone!

November 20, 2014

Staff at the Archive of Recorded Sound recently came across a particularly unusual item while unboxing and sorting the Denis Condon Collection of Reproducing Pianos and Rolls, part of the recently announced Player Piano Project here at Stanford. 

This small roll, just 4.5 inches wide, was found among approximately 7500 of its larger brothers and sisters - the reproducing piano rolls that make up the Condon Collection. Following further research, it was discovered that this roll was designed for a toy, a type of player saxophone called the Playasax, produced by Q.R.S. Q.R.S are in fact the only surviving piano roll company still in existence today. 

Haydn Lieder (1781) title page detail

Haydn's Lieder of 1781

November 6, 2014
by Ray Heigemeir

XII Lieder fur as Clavier, erster Teil (1781), HXXVIa:1-12
Wienn : Heraus gegeben und zu haben bey Artaria Comp., [approximately 1781]

Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 499

Link to downloadable images of this work 

The Lieder were among the first works requested for publication by Haydn’s Austrian publisher, Artaria & Co., with whom he began a relationship at the end of the 1770s.  Artaria announced publication of this first set of Lieder in December 1781 (the second set followed in 1784), possibly to coincide with the festivities surrounding the Grand Tour of Russian Grand Duke Paul (later Tzar Paul II) and his entourage, including the Count and Countess von Norden. Other works published around this time were the highly praised op. 33 quartets. Both the Lieder and the op. 33 quartets represent a break from Haydn's more studious earlier works; the tribute to laziness that is "Lob der Faulheit" (in the second set of Lieder) in particular, has been singled out for its wit and overall affect.

CCRMA Logo

Archival recordings from CCRMA now streaming online

To correspond with the Triple CCRMALite concert and symposium this weekend (Oct 26-27, 2014), the Archive of Recorded Sound and Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently worked to digitized and make available a number of historic performances from Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. These recordings, from the CCRMA Tape Archive (ARS.0037), are now available to stream via the Triple CCRMALite website.    

Pages

RSS