Several copies of works by Joseph Haydn and Anton Zimmermann, located mainly at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, have some striking features in common: almost identical calligraphic initials “NZ,” dates ranging from 1776 to 1778 on the cover pages, and great similarity in the handwriting of text and music. This handwriting was analysed by the author and compared to the surviving contemporary manuscript copies (paper, watermarks, script) of string quartets by Nicolaus Zmeskall (1759–1833), Beethoven’s friend in Vienna. Using previously unknown samples of Zmeskall’s handwriting from the period of his high school studies in Pressburg (Bratislava, Slovakia), it was possible to identify his music-copying style, and determine conclusively that his string quartet manuscripts are autographs. This study proves that the manuscript copies of the Haydn and Zimmermann works (including Haydn’s Violin Concerto in G Major and two symphonies by Zimmermann) were written out by Zmeskall, while he was living in Pressburg. This previously unknown aspect of Zmeskall’s biography is treated at length and it is suggested that this talented cellist and composer may have been in contact with Haydn much earlier than hitherto suspected.
The distinction between aesthetic and commercial value emerged in the later eighteenth century under the conditions of an emerging market for literature and music. Such a distinction was sharply pronounced in North German debate on music, especially concerning the “elitist” fantasia and the “populist” rondo. While Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach would pay lip service to the sharp reprobation of Forkel or Reichardt concerning commercialisation of music, he would nonetheless act as a businessman when it came to selling his music. Joseph Haydn and his Austrian contemporaries, on the other hand, seem to have had much less reservations concerning the idea of music as commodity; indeed, one could argue that Haydn consciously used his trade-marks like “originality” or “wit and humour” as a kind of branding. Commercial success, after all, allowed a composer to get a response from an otherwise anonymous and silent public. The issues at stake are exemplified by a comparison of two important piano pieces which combine elements of fantasia and rondo form: C. P. E. Bach’s Fantasia in C major, H. 291/Wq. 61,6, and Haydn’s Fantasia in C major, Hob. XVII:4.
Among the first forty symphonies that Joseph Haydn wrote up to 1765, Symphony Hob. I:21 has a slow first movement that does not resemble any other, since it is not based on the usual mid-18th-century ternary or binary sonata form; its structure would be better described as a fantasy with allusions of sonata form, and this special structural case should be placed somewhere in the middle of two other notable “capriccios” from the same period: the first movement of Keyboard Trio Hob. XV:35 (a pure sonata form) and the Keyboard Capriccio Hob. XVII:1 (a pure fantasy on a single theme). Yet, the unique form of Hob. I:21 / I does not seem to be absolutely novel in the “pre-classical” repertoire, since some slow movements from Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s “Württemberg” Sonatas (Wq. 49 nos. 1, 3 and 6) display several common characteristics with it. Thus, the present paper, focusing on similarities between C. P. E. Bach’s and J. Haydn’s compositions during the 1760s, aims at the broadening of the subject-matter of one’s influence on the other, not only from a chronological point of view but also in terms of an interrelation between different music genres.
‘Altered recapitulations,’ commonly regarded as a distinguishing feature of Joseph Haydn’s sonata form movements, are usually explained in terms of the ‘monothematic’ design of the exposition. According to the logic used in such analytical studies, recomposing the recapitulation would have been aimed at restoring the proportional balance between exposition and recapitulation, a need that resulted from the omission of the seemingly redundant, retransposed secondary theme along with the preceding transition. Though such an explanation has long been considered indisputable, this article casts doubt on the validity of the redundancy principle by showing that Haydn often did retain the monothematic section in the recapitulation. Rather, the recomposition of the recapitulation results from two important structural aspects thus far largely neglected in the literature: (1) the repetitive formal structure of the main theme, which is often considerably reworked in the recapitulation; and (2) the insertion of a separate newly composed dominant zone in the recapitulation that serves to compensate for the lack of a structural dominant at the end of the development section. Finally, it is argued here that Haydn, who was deeply rooted in the late Baroque tradition, by no means regarded multiple ‘double returns’ as either problematic or redundant, for he may have been thinking more in terms of an overriding
The article discusses the German translation of Giuseppe Carpani’s Haydn biography of 1812. While notes on Haydn by the two German biographers Dies and Griesinger are regularly quoted and considered authentic despite the fact that their authors were good observers but not musicians, musicology pays little attention to the third contemporary Haydn biography by the musician Carpani (1752[?]–1825). He was looked upon with distrust and it reflected on him in intellectual circles that his book on Haydn was plagiarized under a pseudonym right after its publication by an author who later acquired world fame as Stendhal.
The study revisits Haydn’s Erdődy Quartets with the premise that it was Haydn’s intention to copy the scores of three of the six — in D minor, B-flat and E-flat — as
for his own library, and there is no reason to assume that such scores of the other three once existed. While the compositional
tour de force
in the D minor is the opening movement, the slow movements of the B-flat and E-flat form a carefully crafted pair of compositional essays (although they exhibit other special features, such as the E-flat’s
renditions of different lengths). From the same motivic starting point, both in 3/4 time, the E-flat Adagio of the B-flat major quartet and the B major
of the E-flat quartet present diametrically opposed strategies of the learned style. The focus in the
is on the meter, pulsation, and rhythm (including subtleties such as
per arsin et thesin
entries), while in the oft-analysed
it is on the modulation and the surprising shifts of key.
A number of Haydn’s minuet movements from the 1760s and 1770s contain sparsely scored trio sections in which a single musical idea is repeated continuously, even obsessively. In these trios — of which the most distinctive are in Symphonies Nos. 21, 28, 29, 30, 43, 46, and 58 — Haydn developed and cultivated an aesthetic of the minimal. While they conjure a range of moods, these trios share several features that mark them as a distinct type. These include circular harmonic motion, schematic melodies, and the use of certain characteristic intervals. Although modern critics consistently ascribe ‘Balkan’, ‘Gypsy’, ‘Slavonic’, or ‘Eastern European’ qualities to these trios, the evidence for these claims is scanty. The exotic quality of the trios is best viewed in light of Haydn’s minimization of particular compositional parameters, such as dynamics, scoring, and motivic and textural variance. At the same time, it is precisely the minimal quality of these trios that allows Haydn to explore in dramatic fashion the mechanics of contrast in the
form. While Haydn’s minimal style appears most consistently in trios of the 1760s and 1770s, it also informs his later trio writing.
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
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.