The following article offers a short chronicle of the scholarship on Haydn in Hungary since the late 1950s, identifying some of the major contributions, he raises questions concerning possible further interconnections between the scholarly work of the researcher and the creative work of the performer.
In German speaking countries Haydn’s oratorios, and particularly
, have played an important role in the repertoire of choral societies and music festivals since the 1810s. However, in France, and also in Paris — “the capital of the 19th century” —, Haydn’s oratorios were performed only on rare occasions, and then they were given mostly in parts. The reasons for these circumstances can be seen in the institutional and esthetical context of the Parisian concert life. With respect to professional concert societies, like the
Société des Concerts du Conservatoire
, rigid obstacles were on the one hand the enormous financial risk of a complete oratorio performance. On the other hand the established type of concert programmes with its varied mixture of vocal and instrumental pieces functioned as a barrier. Most important was a lack of mixed amateur choral societies, which developed in Paris quite late, primary in the 1840s, and then only little by little. Since oratorio performances lasted to be mostly a private affaire in the first half of the 19th century, it is not surprising, that Haydn’s oratorios were studied in aristocratic salons of Princesse de Belgiojoso and Baron Delmar with the intention of both education and entertainment.
As the first Italian opera to grace the stage of the new opera house at Eszterháza,
(1768) afforded Kapellmeister Haydn, and the singers and orchestral musicians under his direction, the opportunity to revel in comedic performance. The revised libretto translated well to the rural court of Prince Nicolaus, whose tastes and cultural patronage extended to opera buffa. As Matthew Head has argued (
, 2005), Sempronio, the apothecary of the title whose fascination with the exotic makes him an easy target for duping, is also a harbinger of difference. And this “difference,” I contend, is the sign of Sempronio’s main character flaw — his Jewishness. Like other theatrical stereotypes on the mid-eighteenth-century stage, Jews came with a recognizable set of characteristic traits, all of which could readily be exploited in comedic contexts. How the apothecary’s profession and characterization, including aspects of voice, body and gesture, are linked to Jewish representation, is explored in this article through the analysis of a couple of representative scenes from the opera, among them the final Turkish scene, in which a confrontation between Orientalist Others creates semiotic overload. By characterizing the apothecary as Jewish, Haydn was able to demonstrate his complicity in the ideological agenda operative under the terms of his employment — i.e. that of re-inscribing the needs, desires and dominating authority of Prince Nicolaus. In
, the prince’s penchant for theatrical works featuring Jewish characters and caricatures was transferred from
, composed between 1796 and 1799, have mostly been given but scarce attention by scholars. In this paper I strive to re-contextualize the partsongs both as regards Haydn’s own oeuvre and the history of the genre in general. I argue that, while the composer may have been aware of the male quartets by his brother Michael, and was certainly familiar with the English glee tradition, his partsongs consciously seek to redefine the genre by raising its compositional, as well as performing, standards to a uniquely high level (hence the word “utopia” in my title). While the composer’s aim appears to have been to set an example by exploring diverse artistic possibilities of the genre, the reception of his partsongs proved highly selective: the religious songs were praised as worthy models by conservative writers, whereas the comic pieces puzzled critics with their combination of highly elaborate music and resolutely lowbrow texts, which did not seem to deserve, as it were, such compositional care. Thus, the reception of the partsongs reinforces a common Haydn stereotype of the early 19th century: he is seen as a master of outstanding originality and compositional skill, whose achievements can only be admired, but whose example is not always to be followed.
Although a half cadence marks the end of the transition section in most sonata-form expositions and recapitulations, in many of Haydn’s sonata-form movements — especially those from around the 1760s — the end of the transition is instead articulated by a firm perfect authentic cadence. This establishes a point of harmonic resolution, rather than momentum, at this crucial formal juncture. As such, it yields an overall formal shape that departs from “textbook” sonata-form descriptions, which are based largely on later stylistic norms. The practice of having a strong tonic arrive in the middle of the exposition or recapitulation is a strategy that Haydn shared with other composers who flourished in the mid-eighteenth century, and it well accords with the descriptions of formal procedures found in Heinrich Christoph Koch’s
Versuch einer Anleitung zur Composition
The most important project of Haydn research in the 20th century, the first complete critical edition
Joseph Haydn Werke
will be completed in 2014. It is compiled by the Joseph Haydn Institute at Cologne, which was founded in 1955 and stores a comprehensive collection of sources, reproductions and all the Haydn literature. Beyond the complete edition basic philological work remains to be done — and should be done at this research center: A new edition of Haydn’s letters and a new
replacing the outdated one by Hoboken.
In the opera materials of the Esterházy Court in the Széchényi National Library in Budapest, that have survived from the time when Haydn directed the opera at Eszterháza, there are several inserted papers that had been used before the sheet of paper was re-used for the adaptation of the given opera. The fragmentary notations vary in content and extent. Two groups are of special interest for Haydn scholars: fragments that can be related to Haydn’s operas and fragments written by Haydn. The latter are listed in the appendix in a catalogue that might be expanded in the future.
The first movement of Haydn’s Op. 33, no. 5 string quartet famously opens with a closing gesture — a move from dominant to tonic chord accompanying a rising tetrachord. This opening puts the entire notion of closure into question and threatens to eviscerate the cadence of its efficacy. Moreover, Haydn ratchets up the tension created by the tetrachord motive’s omnipresence by altering its intervallic structure during the development in order to include an augmented second. What generically would be considered an almost banal cadential gesture becomes an agent of disruption that promises to derail the sense of completion required by tonal musical discourse.By undermining the efficacy of harmonic closure, Haydn seemingly jeopardized the closural function of the recapitulation, which, according to Charles Rosen, relies upon the resolution of large-scale dissonance. However, Haydn demonstrates that the recapitulation is often more than the resolution of large-scale dissonance. In this piece the recapitulation serves as the “resolution” of a motivic process that might have unraveled the coherence of the movement altogether.This paper provides an analysis of the movement with special focus on the
of recapitulation. In this understanding, the recapitulation is not simply a procedural moment of inevitable necessity but rather a stage within what might be referred to as a recapitulatory process that involves the entire piece. This investigation intersects with both Schenkerian insights and the concept of “rotation” within Hepokoski and Darcy’s sonata theory while having important implications with respect to our understanding of the role of the recapitulation.
Both Griesinger and Dies identify Johann Mattheson’s treatise,
Der vollkommene Capellmeister
(1739), as an important influence on Haydn’s musical development in his youth. Perhaps because Griesinger then gives more emphasis to Fux than Mattheson, and Dies reports some disparaging remarks on the treatise by the aged Haydn, the range and nature of Mattheson’s likely influence on the young musician have not been fully explored. Several authors have alluded to the relevance of Mattheson’s comments on aesthetic matters but, in a more behavioural mode, the treatise lays emphasis too on the duties and expectations of a being a successful Kapellmeister, qualities that were to be exemplified in Haydn’s long career. The essay documents this wider, formative role, including Mattheson’s enthusiasm for all things English. Consideration of Mattheson’s influence leads to a more nuanced understanding of Haydn’s personal and musical education, or
to a use a later concept.