Keeping my promise to both Kenneth Woods and Joseph Haydn: Part Two
By Michael Moriarty
Enviably sane, obscenely gifted and infuriatingly self-assured. That, for myself at any rate, describes Franz Joseph Haydn.
More than having anything and everything an artist might possibly want, Haydn was publicly recognized in his lifetime as being his era’s indisputably greatest composer.
An admirer of Haydn named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?!
Exceptional admiration, however, poured lavishly from the elder prophet toward his young disciple.
Haydn on Mozart:
On another occasion, Haydn had this to say about Mozart to Mozart’s father, Leopold:
An often-retold anecdote from an early biographer of Mozart, Franz Niemetschek, is the following:
A culminating moment in their mutual admiration for one another, came with Mozart’s dedication of his six string quartets to Haydn:
Now listening to Haydn’s Symphony No. 93, the first of his “London Symphonies”, Haydn seems to have flown so above the music world that his creations seem to be sitting at the very right hand of God!!!
It must be lavish praise, in light of the relatively dim light Haydn is held in now!
Particularly when compared to the wild super-stardom of Third Millennium Mozart.
The inner vibrancy of Haydn!!!!
An obviously far greater influence upon Beethoven than perhaps even Beethoven would be willing to admit was, at that time, his most wished-for teacher, Joseph Haydn!
The profound clarity and seeming simplicity of Haydn’s musical architecture was clearly the rock upon which Beethoven built his 9 Symphonies.
The ultimate pinnacle and zenith of European Classicism!
Both Mozart and Beethoven had no other, new region to explore, but their own, profoundly romantic souls!
Therefore, the rock upon which I will build my remaining symphonies, No. 6 through only God-knows-where, is Franz Joseph Haydn!
The undeniably rage and anger in my symphonies 2-5?!
Why all the fury?
Music is the only safe place I can place it in!
All the most important seeds of Beethoven and Mozart, however, rest within Haydn!!!
I am more than even “well-aware” of the rejection which many modern composers have adopted before the challenges of the symphonic form!
“It’s all been said!” cry the hopefuls!
“Our era,” they cry, “from the 20th Century on, demands an entirely different format!!”
No it doesn’t!!!!!!!
It demands a proud and profoundly grateful expression of gratitude for the inspiration contained within such a formidable body of work as a number of muses explode within Haydn’s 106 symphonies.
My favorite composers?!
They begin with Bach!
Everything of any musical importance begins with Johann Sebastian Bach!
In chronological order!
Franz Joseph Haydn!
The most resentful of Haydn’s most gifted students, pupils and admirers!
And Beethoven owed more to Haydn than Mozart did!
Mozart’s plunge into opera and the profound romanticism within his dramas?!
As for Beethoven?!
And it is, in the end, not about war!
It is about “awakeness”!
Beethoven’s symphonies repeatedly demanding that we, the human race, “WAKE-UP!!”
My symphonies 2-5 are my, how shall I say, “wake-up” calls.
As the first movement of Haydn’s “London” Symphony No. 95 begins to thrill me, I come to a close. We’ve, therefore, and much to my delight, a long, long way to go.
Beginning with the London Symphonies and once finished with them, we must return to the very beginning of Haydn’s career.
What a divine thought!
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.