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Rare Music Materials at Stanford

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

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The Stanford University Libraries hold a number of Haydn's early editions, and one manuscript sketch. These items were made available in digital form in support of Haydn: Patronage & Enlightenment, the inaugural event of Live Context: Art + Ideas, which explored the life and times of the composer and the shifting role of patronage during the Enlightenment. The February 2015 campus-wide project included a two-day conference featuring recitals, performances, and talks by international scholars.

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Orfeo e Euridice = : Orphée et Euridice : dramma per musica

The opera that Haydn never heard

Composed in 1791 and headed for the boards in the new Haymarket Theatre, Orfeo was cancelled due to recurring arts-patron rivalry between George III and his son, the Prince of Wales. The King and the Prince supported rival opera houses and seasons. The Prince was a patron of the Haymarket, and George III took it upon himself to refuse to grant a performing license to the Haymarket’s manager, Sir John Gallini, effectively mothballing the production of Orfeo at the new theatre.  Read more...

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Ariana a Naxos : cantata a voce sola, accompagnata col clavicembalo forte-piano

Haydn's "exquisitely captivating" Arianna a Naxos

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.  Read more...

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Divertimento 24o per il pariton

Haydn and the challenge of the baryton

The baryton [pariton] is a bass instrument in the viol family that may be simultaneously bowed and plucked. It features a double set of strings, the upper set gut, for bowing, the lower set metal, for sympathetic vibration and for plucked accompaniment. The metal strings run the length of the neck behind the fingerboard, which is hollowed in the back to allow the left hand to pluck the strings.

Loosely related to the lyra-viol, the baryton likely originated in seventeenth-century England. Its moment in the sun, however, came in eighteenth-century Austria, at the court of the barytonist Prince Nicholas Esterházy, with music supplied in abundance by his ambitious young Kappelmeister, Joseph Haydn.  Read more...

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Deux duos avec accompagnement de piano forte

Haydn's duets for lovers

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.  Read more...

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Dernière sonate pour le piano forte, avec accompaniment de violon

Haydn's sonata for a Parisian lady

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.  Read more...

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Dr. Haydn's VI original canzonettas for the voice with an accompaniment for the Piano-Forte : dedicated to Mrs. John Hunter

Haydn’s English songs: the canzonettas

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, every
one paying him respect.”

Read more...

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Collection complette des quatuors. Violin 1

Haydn, Pleyel, and the complete string quartets

Goethe described the classical string quartet form as “four rational people conversing,” a type of discourse embodied in the quartets of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Haydn, perhaps more than any of his contemporaries, shaped the string quartet into the form we know today, moving away from the typical divertimenti solo with accompaniment, to four equal voices working out thematic material in (often lively) conversation. The complete set of parts featured here is a variant of the first edition of Haydn’s complete string quartets, dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, and known as the “Bonaparte Edition,” published by Maison Pleyel in Paris in 1803.  Read more...

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XII. Lieder für das Clavier. IIter Teil

Haydn's Lieder of 1781

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.  Read more...

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Die Schoepfung

Haydn, Burney, England, and The Creation

There are two important items in the Memorial Library of Music related to Haydn's Creation: a letter written by Haydn to his English friend Dr. Charles Burney (1726-1814), who helped Haydn arrange for the initial sale of the English-language edition of the full score; and one of the earliest copies of that score, which bears Haydn’s personal stamp on the title page. Burney is best known for his A General History of Music, (4 vols., 1776-89), a monumental publication that set a new standard for works on music history and historiography.  Read more...

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Die Jahreszeiten : Partitur. Volume 1

The Seasons, and Haydn slows down

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.  Read more...