Music Composers

Josef Haydn-Part 10

Haydn no doubt catered to the favor of royalty. The miraculous power he attributed to that ring is a  proof that, according to his views, "inferior beings" owe a real worship to the might of the earth. In return for this devotion powerful monarchs rewarded him with their high patronage. In our democratic times we would surely not recommend such servility as worthy of imitation, although we must take notice of the fact that this was one of the principal causes of the artistic and pecuniary success of Haydn. Bad enough that other great musicians who - like Mozart and Beethoven - disdained to "stoop to conquer" had to suffer in consequence of their noble pride.

We have seen that Haydn's marital life was far from happy. It is therefore no wonder that Haydn sought compensation in some other affection. Among the musicians who had been engaged for the Esterhazy service were a couple named Polzelli; the husband a violinist, the wife a second rate vocalist. Luigia was a lively Italian girl of nineteen. Also her marriage seems not to have been made in Heaven, and Haydn first pitied her and ultimately fell passionately in love with her. Signora Polzelli was clearly an unscrupulous woman.

Unlike Mozart, Haydn took into consideration that one cannot live on glory alone. He entered into business relations with Artaria, the Vienna music publisher, and William Foster of London. The latter published eighty-two symphonies, twenty-four quartets and the Seven Words of Our Saviour on the Cross. This oratorio he composed for Cadiz. Haydn tells us about this solemn ceremony. The bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced one of the "Seven Words" and delivered a discourse thereon. Then came the music. The bishop then proceeded in like manner with the second work, and so on, the orchestra falling in at the conclusion of each discourse. This work created a profound impression. It was published afterwards with choruses and solos, and the composer seems to have preferred it to all his other compositions.

The Etude Magazine September 1920





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