Affectionately nicknamed Papa, reverered as the 'Father of the Symphony' and 'Father of the String Quartet', this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Franz Joseph Haydn through another musical form that the composer made his own, his music for Trio.
Haydn made two visits to England. By the time of his second visit, the public were clamouring to attend his concerts. During the 1794 Haydn conducted a work that proved to be his most popular composition of that season. Britain was at war with France, and his Military Symphony had the audience shouting "Encore! Encore!"
After the 1794 concert season, Haydn made some tours of England, including Bristol, Bath and Portsmouth. On one such trip away from London, Haydn accompanied the Earl of Abingdon to the estate of Baron Aston. Haydn dedicated to his hosts a set of Trios, including the Trio in C for two flutes and cello.
Haydn's 1795 concert season started with quite a surprise. A chandelier in the concert hall fell from the ceiling. Undeterred, Haydn went on to give the premiere of his Symphony No.104, called "The London", which earned Haydn the huge sum of 4,000 gulden. The composer noted, that "such a thing is only possible in England".