In fact, in music Haydn stands for classicism, and this is no contradiction of what I have written about his throwing away the formulas of his predecessors. When we talk of classical music we mean Haydn’s. He created the thing, and it ended with him. He has sanity lucidity, pointedness, sometimes epigrammatic piquancy, of expression, dignity without pompousness or grandiloquence, feeling without hysteria. His variety seems endless, his energy never flags, and often he has more than a touch of the divine quality. He did not attempt to compose tragedies of life, for his temperament forbade it; but in his finest music he is never commonplace, because he had a strongly marked temperament and was poetically inspired. By dint of a sincerity that was perfect he made music which, though it is shaped in outline by the classical spirit, will be for ever interesting. To listen to him immediately after Tschaikowsky is hard, sometimes impossible, yet to me it seems anything but impossible that our descendants will be listening to him when students are turning to the biographical dictionaries to find out who Tschaikowsky was. A century ago Haydn was as fresh and novel as Tschaikowsky is now, and as overwhelming a personality in the world of music as the mighty Wagner. But time equalizes and evens things, and in another hundred years all that is merely up-to-date in musical speech and phraseology will have lost its flavour and seductiveness; but the voice that is sincere, whether the word is spoken to-day or was spoken a century ago, will sound as clear as ever, and the one voice shall not be clearer nor more convincing than the other.
HAYDN’S PRINCIPAL COMPOSITIONS
125 Symphonies and orchestral pieces. 31 Concertos.
176 pieces for the baryton. 77 Quartets. 14 Masses.
The Spirit Song.
The Seven Words.
A large number of pieces for harpsichord or piano.
BOOKS ABOUT HAYDN
POHL: “Joseph Haydn.”
POHL: “Haydn and Mozart in London.”
MICHAEL KELLY: “Reminiscences.”
BELL’S MINIATURE SERIES OF MUSICIANS
COMPANION SERIES TO Bell’s Miniature Series of Painters
Each volume 6-1/4 inches, price 1s. net; or in limp leather, with photogravure frontispiece, 2s. net.