Keeping my promise to both Kenneth Woods and Joseph Haydn: Part One
By Michael Moriarty
“His (Kenneth Woods’) tributes to Joseph Haydn alone make me clearly want to hear all of the Haydn, 106 symphonies!
Even now, I listen to the second movement of Haydn’s very first Symphony in D Major!
We obviously have a long, long way to go before my mission is completed!
Why would I make such a promise?
1- My admiration for the impeccable taste
The latter description is a dream of mine for the last decade or so of my own life.
The balance and indisputably peaceful sanity in all of Haydn’s prodigiously created music?!
He has now become an indisputably important influence upon my own direction in music!!
I, of course, take my own career in music far more seriously than the few that have even heard my creations.
Of course, Mel Torme’s recorded appreciation of my jazz, song-writing and singing is one of the blessed exceptions to the world’s greater desire to ignore my efforts at a “Renaissance Life”!
Also, the reviews in the New York Times and the Calgary Sun newspapers for my Symphony for Strings were most respectful!
Leonard Bernstein’s comment about it, however belittling those words might appear to some, are most encouraging to my exceptionally sane period of self-instruction:
Haydn for myself: “An artist of the firmest and most aesthetically perfect control!”
The absolute essence of a thoroughbred!
Not a false move.
Yet not a pedant!!
The Andante of Symphony #4!
A roughly 45-minute composition to accompany the Haydn’s 4th would be perfect!
Pre-Mozart achievement of Mozart’s central genius at andante to adagio tempi.
It reveals the spiritually inspired genius that already existed within an early Haydn symphony!
Unattributed but piercing expression about Haydn: “The structure is the expression!”
Haydn’s “London Symphonies”!
No. 93 to No. 104!
Composed in London between 1791 and 1795!!
12 in all!!!
This is where I will begin my obligatorily long adventure with Haydn’s symphonic achievement.
An infinitely and most eloquently well-organized story-teller in music!
He was dubbed in London as “the Shakespeare of musical composition!”
Brought to London by “Mr. Johann Peter Solomon”.
Haydn’s adoring admirer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, were both in Vienna when Solomon arrived.
Mozart advised Haydn not to venture into London, England.
“Amadeus” warned, “You won’t be able to stand it in England, Papa! You’ll soon come back. You’re not young anymore!”
Mozart went on even more presumptuously: “You’re not ready for the greater world! You speak too few languages!”
Haydn in reply: “My language is understood the world over!”
Thus began the adventure to London, during which Haydn kept a detailed account in his diary.
“Our captain (in the ship from Calais to Dover) was in a most evil temper!”
He wrote, “I stayed on the deck the entire voyage. I wanted to gaze upon that mighty monster, The Sea!”
Following a rough patch near the end of the voyage, our Composer still arrived relatively healthy and without any bout of sea sickness.
Others on the ship weren’t as lucky.
Once arriving in London, Haydn was astonished by its size and beauty!
Wined and dined repeatedly, he was interviewed by all the major newspapers.
The landlord for Haydn and his sponsor, Mr. Solomon, served them four meals a day!
“Everything is so expensive!” wrote Haydn.
At the first concert he attended, he was escorted from the entrance to the theatre, down the center aisle, while being accompanied by thunderous applause!
Then a dinner for two hundred persons!
All, as Haydn described it, “brilliantly illuminated!”
His celebrity was most astonishing to Haydn himself.
This ends Part One of many parts to come!!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.