A Romantic view of Haydn
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.