I have recently been immersed in Haydn’s chamber music, amd I have told you my amazement at the creativity that he exhibited in the Opus 20 string quartets.
Now on this recording we come back to Haydn the symphonic master. The Haydn symphonies included in this collection are the numbers 19, 80, abd 81.
In this fifth volume of thisi series, Haydn is set in perspective with another composer, Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-92):
Haydn said the following about Kraus:
‘Kraus was the first man of genius that I met. Why did he have to die? It is an irreparable loss for our art. The Symphony in C minor he wrote in Vienna specially for me is a work which will be considered a masterpiece in every century’
Though he long remained forgotten after his death, Kraus made an active contribution to the movement of poetic renewal called ‘Sturm und Drang’ or ‘Geniezeit’ (time of genius) because such artists as the young Goethe broke free of all tradition to follow their hearts alone. When Haydn called Kraus homme de génie, in French, he probably had this context in mind. The two composers had met in Vienna in 1783.
Here is the Symphony number 80 by Haydn: