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String Quartet in B Minor Hob.III:37 : 1. Allegro moderato
Franz Joseph Haydn Lyrics


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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Elaine Blackhurst

@Le Rippletoe
You are quite correct, and it is one of the things that has been traditionally used to criticise Haydn.

However, all the criticisms have come from Beethoven sources, many of them now discredited, and many of them not contemporaneous accounts.

Almost all the criticism of Haydn stems from three things:

(i) the non-correction of many of Beethoven’s counterpoint exercises;

(ii) Beethoven’s allegation that he ‘...learnt nothing from Haydn’;

(iii) Beethoven’s refusal to add ‘Pupil of Haydn’ to the dedication to the Opus 2 piano sonatas which he dedicated to Haydn.

Beethoven spent much time with Haydn between the two London visits when the lessons took place; he spent some considerable time as an Eszterhazy family house guest at Eisenstadt - as a performer - in the Summer and Autumn of 1793 whilst he took the counterpoint lessons from Haydn.
We absolutely do not know what they talked about, but almost everything is based on the lack of correction in hundreds of exercises.

It is inconceivable that Haydn and Beethoven did not discuss music in depth, and not just the counterpoint lessons, and Beethoven would have been fascinated by Haydn’s busy compositional schedule - he would have learnt much outside the formal lessons.

In Haydn’s defence, two points should be made.

Firstly that he was extremely busy with preparing works for the forthcoming second visit to London, working in particular on Symphonies 99, 100, and 101, along with the set of six string quartets Opus 71/74.
It is hardly surprising that he was struggling to find time to mark Beethoven’s counterpoint exercises, counterpoint being something he had mastered himself over thirty years earlier.

Secondly, like any teacher today, if the exercises covered common material or subject matter, the teacher would correct and explain the errors in one exercise, but not repeat the same explanation - and corrections - in every other exercise, as the point had been taught.

Finally of course, Albrechtsberger was a professional teacher, and as such, Haydn himself considered him the finest in Vienna.
It was Haydn who recommended to Beethoven that Albrechtsberger should take over the lessons when he set off for England.

Hope that helps.



Elaine Blackhurst

Arya Vaseghi
Beethoven learnt a huge amount from Haydn who certainly had much to teach him.

There is no evidence that Haydn had any problems with Beethoven’s new works, apart from the misunderstandings that arose over the c minor piano trio Opus 1 No 3.

The sources of this story about the c minor trio have been largely discredited as the claims that Haydn said it should not be published cannot be true; when Haydn first heard the work immediately after his return from the second London trip, and made the alleged comment in August 1795, the trio had already been published in Vienna!

The formal lessons which went less well were entirely based on Fuxian counterpoint.
When Haydn departed for his second London trip, Albrechtsberger took on the job, continued to use Fux, and found Beethoven equally difficult.



Elaine Blackhurst

Fernando Be
We seem to be at cross-purposes; I simply challenged the original comment from Michael Pearson that Opus 33 is a ‘substantial improvement from previous works’, for me this description does not fit for Opus 20 - which I think is equal, but different.

I did not use the word mediocre.

Do we have a misunderstanding here?
I clearly wrote that Mozart’s Haydn quartets were a response to Opus 33; I simply pointed out some examples of Mozart being familiar with Haydn’s earlier works.

Scholars have long argued whether or not Opus 20 or Opus 33 are Haydn’s first truly great set of quartets; you can find as many great musicologists who have argued for one as for the other.

I don’t actually disagree with anything you have written other than the original comment that ‘...it is Mozart’s opinion as well’ that Opus 33 ‘is a substantial improvement...’.



Elaine Blackhurst

Ben Ehrmantraut
It’s not so much to do with dialogue as with motivic and thematic development - everything is rigorously worked out.
Also, Opus 20 was composed in 1772; Opus 33 in 1781.

Like Mozart, the thing that separates these two composers from all their contemporaries is the fact of their continuous development and growth which is often spectacular, year on year.

The two sets of quartets were written nine years apart, Opus 20 are products of ‘sturm und drang’; by 1781, Haydn was in a new world.

I can hear almost nothing of Vivaldi in any of these works.



All comments from YouTube:

Richard Atkinson

Gottfried von der Goltz (the first violinist in this recording) has to be the greatest gut-string violinist of all time. I first heard these recordings of Op. 33 almost 20 years ago, and they are still the best quartet performances/recordings of any Haydn or Mozart quartets that I know of. I wish they had recorded some complete cycles instead of just Op. 33.

Jorge Guimarães

uuuh nice unexpected richard atkinson cameo

NickB

and Beethoven said Haydn couldn't teach him anything haha

Elaine Blackhurst

@Le Rippletoe
You are quite correct, and it is one of the things that has been traditionally used to criticise Haydn.

However, all the criticisms have come from Beethoven sources, many of them now discredited, and many of them not contemporaneous accounts.

Almost all the criticism of Haydn stems from three things:

(i) the non-correction of many of Beethoven’s counterpoint exercises;

(ii) Beethoven’s allegation that he ‘...learnt nothing from Haydn’;

(iii) Beethoven’s refusal to add ‘Pupil of Haydn’ to the dedication to the Opus 2 piano sonatas which he dedicated to Haydn.

Beethoven spent much time with Haydn between the two London visits when the lessons took place; he spent some considerable time as an Eszterhazy family house guest at Eisenstadt - as a performer - in the Summer and Autumn of 1793 whilst he took the counterpoint lessons from Haydn.
We absolutely do not know what they talked about, but almost everything is based on the lack of correction in hundreds of exercises.

It is inconceivable that Haydn and Beethoven did not discuss music in depth, and not just the counterpoint lessons, and Beethoven would have been fascinated by Haydn’s busy compositional schedule - he would have learnt much outside the formal lessons.

In Haydn’s defence, two points should be made.

Firstly that he was extremely busy with preparing works for the forthcoming second visit to London, working in particular on Symphonies 99, 100, and 101, along with the set of six string quartets Opus 71/74.
It is hardly surprising that he was struggling to find time to mark Beethoven’s counterpoint exercises, counterpoint being something he had mastered himself over thirty years earlier.

Secondly, like any teacher today, if the exercises covered common material or subject matter, the teacher would correct and explain the errors in one exercise, but not repeat the same explanation - and corrections - in every other exercise, as the point had been taught.

Finally of course, Albrechtsberger was a professional teacher, and as such, Haydn himself considered him the finest in Vienna.
It was Haydn who recommended to Beethoven that Albrechtsberger should take over the lessons when he set off for England.

Hope that helps.

Le Rippletoe

@Elaine Blackhurst I think Haydn sometimes didn't correct all of Beethoven's mistakes for whatever reason. Albrechtsberger did better I guess

Benedetta Castiello

Silly Beethoven

Elaine Blackhurst

Arya Vaseghi
Beethoven learnt a huge amount from Haydn who certainly had much to teach him.

There is no evidence that Haydn had any problems with Beethoven’s new works, apart from the misunderstandings that arose over the c minor piano trio Opus 1 No 3.

The sources of this story about the c minor trio have been largely discredited as the claims that Haydn said it should not be published cannot be true; when Haydn first heard the work immediately after his return from the second London trip, and made the alleged comment in August 1795, the trio had already been published in Vienna!

The formal lessons which went less well were entirely based on Fuxian counterpoint.
When Haydn departed for his second London trip, Albrechtsberger took on the job, continued to use Fux, and found Beethoven equally difficult.

Arya Vaseghi

I think it was fueled by the fact that Haydn disapproved of some of Beethoven's more experimental works in the beginning of his carrier under his tutelage and came to resent him. Later on, he would praise Haydn consistently.

That being said, it is true that Haydn couldn't really teach Beethoven anything that he didn't really already know, remember that this was said in the context of his formal learning under him. That's not to mean that his music couldn't teach him anything.

2 More Replies...

fiddleman32

Wonderful work. I love the way Haydn starts the quartet as if it were beginning in D Major but slyly slips into b minor very soon.

Sara Belfiore

Actually Haydn put a Scherzo as second movement, not a Minuetto. It is a small but significant revolution

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