Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2
London, Printed for the author , signed by the composer
Stanford University Libraries, Memorial Library of Music, MLM 489
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.