Haydn seek: Commemorating the composer’s death in Vienna

Posted on: June 1, 2009

In an Associated Press article posted from Vienna, George Jahn writes about the relative paucity of events marking the 200th anniversary of Haydn’s death, on May 31, 1809: “Mostly Mozart. Hardly Haydn. Joseph Haydn died 200 years ago Sunday, and Austria has been officially marking the occasion with hundreds of concerts, exhibitions and other events dedicated to the music and memory of one of the country’s greatest sons. There is no doubt that Haydn was a giant. … But Haydn has it hard in a country that also gave birth to Amadeus. … ‘Everything is Mozart here,’ said Ibrahim Erneten, who peddles concert tickets to tourists thronging the Austrian capital’s upscale Graben pedestrian zone abutting the opera house. ‘The tourists don’t know about Haydn.’… And—despite his relative obscurity now compared at least to Mozart—he was BIG in his time. Mozart died impoverished and with his musical legacy unsecured. Haydn, in contrast, dined at the table of Esterhazy—one of Europe’s most powerful princes—and members of the British royal family bowed to him during his London sojourns.”

Posted June 1, 2009