Haydn is the last major composer whose music was regularly discussed by his contemporaries in terms derived from the classical tradition of rhetoric. Within a generation of his death, that discourse had fallen from favor, but the historical relationship between Haydn and the rhetorical tradition endured.
In this volume, a distinguished group of contributors in fields from classics to literature to musicology restores the rhetorical model to prominence and shows what can be achieved by returning to the idea of music as a rhetorical process. An accompanying DVD, specially designed for this project, presents performances and illustrations keyed to its chapters, making musicological arguments accessible to nonspecialists and advancing additional arguments of its own through the medium of performance. The volume thus reaches beyond musicology to enrich and complicate the larger debate over rhetoric's role in eighteenth-century culture.
Interest in the authentic performance of early music has grown dramatically in recent years, and scholarly investigation has particularly benefited the study of keyboard music of the classical period. In this landmark publication, the most comprehensive study written on Haydn's keyboard sonatas, a leading Haydn scholar presents novel ideas, corrects misconceptions, and offers new hypotheses on long-debated issues of early music research.
Laszlo Somfai begins with a thorough study of Haydn's keyboard instruments and their development. After recommending instruments appropriate for modern use, he discusses performance practice and style, explains the peculiarities of Haydn's manuscripts in the context of eighteenth-century notation, and provides specific suggestions for playing ornaments, improvising, slurring, and dynamics. He also investigates Haydn's sonata genres within their historical context and discusses the problems of establishing a chronology of their composition. Finally, Somfai analyzes the organization and style of each musical form. The book includes an index listing the sonatas by date of first publication, and an extensive bibliography.
In Making Light Raymond Knapp traces the musical legacy of German Idealism as it led to the declining prestige of composers such as Haydn while influencing the development of American popular music in the nineteenth century. Knapp identifies in Haydn and in early popular American musical cultures such as minstrelsy and operetta a strain of high camp—a mode of engagement that relishes both the superficial and serious aspects of an aesthetic experience—that runs antithetical to German Idealism's musical paradigms. By considering the disservice done to Haydn by German Idealism alongside the emergence of musical camp in American popular music, Knapp outlines a common ground: a humanistically based aesthetic of shared pleasure that points to ways in which camp receptive modes might rejuvenate the original appeal of Haydn's music that has mostly eluded audiences. In so doing, Knapp remaps the historiographical modes and systems of critical evaluation that dominate musicology while troubling the divide between serious and popular music.
Haydn’s music has been performed continuously for more than two hundred years. But what do we play, and what do we listen to, when it comes to Haydn? Can we still appreciate the rich rhetorical nuances of this music, which from its earliest days was meant to be played by professionals and amateurs alike?
With The Virtual Haydn, Tom Beghin—himself a professional keyboard player—delves deeply into eighteenth-century history and musicology to help us hear a properly complex Haydn. Unusually for a scholarly work, the book is presented in the first person, as Beghin takes us on what is clearly a very personal journey into the past. When a discussion of a group of Viennese sonatas, for example, leads him into an analysis of the contemporary interest in physiognomy, Beghin applies what he learns about the role of facial expressions during his own performance of the music. Elsewhere, he analyzes gesture and gender, changes in keyboard technology, and the role of amateurs in eighteenth-century musical culture.
The resulting book is itself a fascinating, bravura performance, one that partakes of eighteenth-century idiosyncrasy while drawing on a panoply of twenty-first-century knowledge.