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A New and Special Way

Donald Macleod describes how Haydn bowed out of opera, returning to composing string quartets.

Long description (5,000)
All this week, Donald Macleod explores Haydn's time at the Hungarian palace of Eszterháza, the composer's primary base of operations for nearly a quarter of a century and the place where, he said, he 'was forced to become original'.

Today, with opera production at Eszterháza nearing its peak, Haydn pretty much bows out of composing for the theatre himself. Instead, he turns for the first time in nearly a decade to the string quartet, producing the six watershed works of Opus 33. He set about advertising manuscript copies to potential subscribers, marketing them as written "in a new and special way". Unbeknownst to Haydn, his new publisher Artaria was planning to launch his own printed edition, substantially undercutting Haydn's hand-produced volumes. Composer and publisher nearly came to blows but the contretemps was resolved and their relationship blossomed, leading, among other things, to a fine sequence of piano trios.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Joseph Haydn

    Armida - dramma eroica in 3 acts H.28.12

    Conductor: Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Ensemble: Concentus Musicus Wien.
    • TELDEC : 8573-82208 2.
    • TELDEC.
    • 23.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Quartet in E flat major Op.33`2 (Joke) for strings

    Ensemble: Casals Quartet.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMX-2962022.23.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 6.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Mass in C major H.22.5 (Missa Cellensis (St.Cecilia mass))

    Performer: Ian Watson. Ensemble: Collegium Musicum 90. Singer: Louise Winter. Conductor: Richard Hickox. Singer: Susan Gritton.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN-0674.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 12.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Concerto no. 2 in D major H.7b.2 for cello and orchestra

    Performer: Jean‐Guihen Queyras. Conductor: Petra Müllejans. Orchestra: Freiburg Baroque Orchestra.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : HMC-901816.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 5.
  • Joseph Haydn

    Piano Trio in F, Hob XV:6

    Performer: Beaux Arts Trio.
    • PHILIPS: 454 098-2.
    • 14.

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