Monday, February 25, 2013

Haydn: Greater than Great

What pleasure can be greater than playing for the first time a work by Haydn, the master of masters.

In the preface to the Wiener Urtext edition of the piano pieces Brahms is quoted as remarking that Haydn is not understood at his time (1896); that undoubtedly in the future someone will organize Haydn festivals for business purposes.  How right he was and how true that is.

It is remarkable that in a program that features even quite complex contemporary works the composer whose work requires the most painstaking attention is invariably Haydn - I have this from a person who specializes in the likes of Elliot Carter.