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A Romantic view of Haydn

October 10, 2008

In this extract from Beethoven’s Instrumental Music ETA Hoffmann (1776-1822) discusses the music of Haydn.

In Haydn’s writing there prevails the expression of a serene and childlike personality. His symphonies lead us into vast green woodlands, into the merry, gaily coloured throng of happy mortals. Youths and maidens float past in a circling dance; laughing children, peering out from behind the trees, from behind the rose bushes, pelt one another with flowers A life of love, of bliss like that before the Fall, of eternal youth; no sorrow, no suffering, only a sweet melancholy yearning for the beloved object that floats along, far away, in the glow of the sunset and comes no nearer and does not disappear – nor does night fall while it is there, for it is itself the sunset in which hill and valley are aglow.

From: ETA Hoffmann, Beethoven’s Instrumental Music.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 3:27 pm

    What romantic describing of ETA Hoffmann – I like it! Although it’s a little bit “out of time”, isn’t it?
    Greetings from “Haydn-land” (Eisenstadt, Austria)!
    May be you want to have a look on my Haydn-anniversary-blog?

    • April 29, 2009 8:44 am

      It is a bit out of time but I think that is the point as in the 19th century people didn’t look at Haydn in quite the right way.

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