Some more thoughts on Haydn


Joy can be profound.  Haydn shows that happiness can be deep, endlessly original, protean, many sided, even strange and uncanny.  Happiness has its roots in Ananda, divine Delight, which is the source of everything.  Maybe this is why Haydn’s revealed joy is always endlessly refreshing and fascinating.

There is also deep pathos in Haydn.  His piano sonata no 59 has a middle movement that channels the yet-unborn Schubert in its dramatic darkness.  Also the inner movements of his opus 20 no. 2 string quartet contain a long, unbroken song, one of the most mysterious arias ever written.
One critic said that, unlike Beethoven, Haydn was no prophet.  His, apparently was a mundane and terrestrial spirit.  I disagree.  As deeply rooted as Haydn was to the earth, he was also a lofty dreamer, as his poetic utterance towards the end of his life illustrates:

"Often when struggling against obstacles of every sort which oppose my labors: often, when the powers of mind and body weakened, and it was difficult to continue the course I had entered on; — a secret voice whispered to me: “there are so few happy and contented peoples here below; grief and sorrow are always their lot; perhaps your labors will once be a source from which the care-worn, or the man burdened with affairs, can derive a few moments rest and refreshment.” This was indeed a powerful motive to press onwards, and this is why I now look back with cheerful satisfaction on the labors expended on this art, to which I have devoted so many long years of uninterrupted effort and exertion."
Haydn is one of only two or three composers who can fill an entire concert in any genre-  string quartet, symphony, piano or cello or trumpet concerto, mass, oratorio, piano sonata or lieder. 

But I think his piano sonatas remain an untapped reservoir of his genius.  They contain his most private thoughts.  When I listen to them, I feel he wrote them just for me, and I am a most appreciative audience of one.



Thank you Mahiruha, Doris and Sharani.
A deer staring into the window at a human dear. 
True inspiration. Thank you! 

Julie Wolf