Sunday, November 16, 2008

Glorious Papa Haydn!

On a slightly life-changing journey the other day, involving 8 hours on a bus there and back, my Ipod suddenly decided to stick to my complete set of Haydn symphonies, recorded by Adam Fischer and the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra. Sounds like a life-time project, no?

Haydn is amazing! One tends to think of him as a lesser Mozart (some of his early string quartets are a bit dull for the viola), but the amount of imagination, surprises, developments, and new ideas that have gone into his symphonies (when you listen to 8 hours of them, one after the other), really is amazing. Considering he wrote at a time when music was only getting inventive, in terms of surprises and contrasts (baroque music tended to have one 'affekt', ie mood, per movement); though on the other hand Haydn did live a loooong time, during which music changed greatly. 

If you ever plan to get stuck somewhere for a long time, get these CDs.  The band plays with amazing enthusiasm, refinement and delicacy - imagine making this recording, of 104 symphonies!

My only problem is, I don't know how my Ipod got stuck on this - I would like to repeat this with other composers. Usually it stops at the end of a CD, or it shuffles around, but some mysterious click happened as I put it in my pocket, and I've enjoyed non-stop Haydn ever since....