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Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Sun, 31st May '09 10:53 AM


Today is the 200th anniversary of the death of the "Father of the Symphony." I just heard an very entertaining and informative profile of him on NPR (in the car on the way to pick up sausage croissandwiches and the Sunday paper). The story of the last movement of the Farewell Symphony was especially charming. I'd like to be more familiar with his music, and I know we have lots of folks here who are very knowledgeable about classical music. Any suggestions?

Haydn's Greatest Hits?

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sun, 31st May '09 11:27 AM

OK well of course Sploofer Haydn is our real expert - he's in Boston lecturing on Haydn this weekend.
But I do own nearly 300 CDs of Haydn's music so I guess I can speak on him too.
He only wrote 104 symphonies but the best place to start is any of the last 12 - particularly #94 The Surprise - probably his most famous symphony.
I was a trumpet player way back when and of course the Haydn Trumpet concerto is easily the most famous trumpet concerto ever written,
Other famous things are his String quartets - there are tons but I would say the most famous is Opus 76 number 3 "The Emperor" which features the Austrian national anthem in it.
Will defer to Haydn for more recommendations but here's at least a start.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12008)
Sun, 31st May '09 11:34 AM

Thanks so much, Gary!

What about the London Symphonies? They were mentioned in the piece. There are twelve of them, which is what prompted me to post, wondering where I should start. Of course wiki lists everything but that's not as helpful as the recommendations of fans.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sun, 31st May '09 12:07 PM

The London Symphonies are any of the last twelve - numbers 93 through 104 - not a bad one in the batch - frequently sold as sets 93 to 98 and 99 to 104.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6810)
Sun, 31st May '09 12:17 PM

Well I hope Haydn doesnt read this...but I'm not convinced that I would recommend Haydn to anyone except a music lover.

Different people get their enjoyment from different styles of music, and Haydn (for me) comes at the end of the 'form over substance' brigade. As you listen to Mozart you will find him advancing from music that is restricted by the hide-bounds rules of composing to something freeer and more imaginative. Beethoven destroyed the shackles and restraints and for me is the greatest....And he set the stage for the great music of the nineteenth century.

Those who like Haydn will find it the sort of thing they like. Not me.


Fainodraino  (Level: 113.1 - Posts: 240)
Tue, 2nd Jun '09 12:16 PM

Haydn wrote so much!!! I would definitely say that of the 104 symphonies, the last 12 are the best. But then again, once you've heard one Haydn symphony, you've kind of heard them all. I heard a quote once that Haydn was the only person who could write the same symphony 104 times.

Saying that, I do like his London symphonies, but in small doses. I can't listen to a bunch of Haydn in a row. Gets old for me. If I'm gonna listen to someone from that era, it's Mozart. He's the only Classical composer who still holds his own against all the greatness of the 19th century composers.

Sorry Haydn (the sploofuser)!

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