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String Quartet in E Flat Major Hob.III:31 : 1. Allegro moderato
Franz Joseph Haydn Lyrics


No lyrics text found for this track.

The lyrics can frequently be found in the comments below, by filtering for lyric videos or browsing the comments in the different videos below.
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

LaVell Thompson, Jr.

As a general rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of writing remarks/comments on YouTube postings. HOWEVER, in the case of this piece, I thought it worth mentioning something VERY IMPORTANT (for those not already in-the-know). While listening to this piece recently, I discovered that Antonin Dvorak was inspired by this piece!


Dvorak's String Quartet no. 4 in E-minor has a second movement titled "Andante religioso." And, if you listen to THAT movement and the THIRD movement of this Haydn work, you'll hear a VERY CLOSE SIMILARITY in color, texture, counterpoint, and I (believe muted strings with both).


I'd not been familiar with the Haydn before hearing the Dvorak. And after discovering the Dvorak quartets (which are ALL AMAZING, FYI...if you're not familiar with them), I instantly fell in love with the 2nd movement of the 4th. So much so that I played it a million times. Anyway...my point is that when I required myself to start listening to the Haydn quartets (since I was not familiar with them...mostly for learning purposes and to see what he does with strings), once hearing THIS piece's 3rd movement, I had to do a double-take because I thought I was listening to Dvorak for a split second! It's very clear that Dvorak must have enjoyed Franz Josef Haydn's writing, too. :-) Clearly, Haydn--being a composer of the Classical period--wrote his music a century before Dvorak's late Romantic music.


Confession: I actually like the Dvorak version better. But, then again: I am a little biased. I'm not exactly a fan of Classicism (with many isolated exceptions). I mostly prefer all things 20th Century (with some exceptions). I also like the Baroque period. O.k. That's enough. lol Thanks for reading (for those who did). Feel free to comment, if you like. Here is a recording of the very piece I'm referring to with an interpretation I like:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiBv-GptHV8



Elaine Blackhurst

@Leonhard Euler
1. Take care over the word ‘inspired’ which is as absurdly over-used as it is mis-used by the ‘many people’ to which you referred.
Beethoven’s Opus 18 was absolutely NOT inspired by Mozart, nor anyone else - it was a standard commission as will be explained below, and was written at a time Beethoven felt both competent and confident to tackle the genre.

2. There are significant elements of Mozart and Haydn - in very different ways - in Beethoven’s DNA, so inevitably, there are occasional moments that may be described as reminiscent at best of his two greatest predecessors, and also obviously, evidence of what he had studied and learned from them.

3.Both Haydn’s Opus 77 and Beethoven’s Opus 18 were commissioned by the same person - Prince Lobkowitz - at almost the same time.
Haydn was busy with The Seasons - which basically finished him off - and he had not the strength to continue with the commission after completing the oratorio; he managed just two of the projected set of six.

Beethoven completed his six by 1801.

HC Robbins Landon has suggested that Haydn in fact DID hear Beethoven’s Opus 18, and then decided to quit the field to the young pretender; cue lots of speculation and conjecture along the lines of his alleged retreat from opera after hearing Mozart’s later operas.

4. Almost all Beethoven’s first published efforts were startlingly new - the Opus 1 piano trios, Opus 2 piano sonatas, 1st symphony, and Opus 18 quartets for example.
Whilst he had clearly been studying Mozart and Haydn quartets prior to writing Opus 18 - including copying out Haydn’s Opus 20 No 1, and Mozart’s K464 - Opus 18 is clearly at the dawn of a new age.
It was not ‘…inspired by’ or any such silly nonsense, but Opus 18 does show that he has assimilated much of Mozart and Haydn, but also that he had his own new ideas, and very original musical language.

5. Regarding recurring motifs in Beethoven, this was a key idea he took directly from Haydn.
The intensive working-out and development of thematic and motivic ideas is a common thread between Haydn and Beethoven.
Their shared technique of building larger scale movements out of small cells, and through-composition and cyclic integration - which were taken in new directions by Beethoven - all had their origins in Haydn, indeed they were worked by him to extraordinary levels as early as Symphony 45 (‘Farewell’) in 1772, and in terms of the string quartet, this was the ‘…composed in a new and special way’ of Opus 33 in 1781.

Hope that gives a little food for thought.



Elaine Blackhurst

@Timothy Thorne
A few pointers:

1. Check out Christian Schubart’s Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkust (Characteristics of musical keys) of 1806.
An English translation is easily available if you Google it, and it will give you a fascinating insight into the thinking of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven into the widely understood characteristics of each tonality at the time.

2. That said, I think there is clear evidence that composers had certain keys that were special to them and inspired some of their most personal thoughts.
Mozart - g minor
Haydn - f minor
Beethoven - c minor.

3. All three of these composers wrote many sets of works - three’s as in Mozart’s last symphonies, or Beethoven’s Opus 1 and Opus 2; or sixes as in most of Haydn’s string quartets, his ‘Paris’ and ‘London symphonies, and Beethoven’s Opus 18.
Obviously, each work in each set was written in a contrasting tonality, usually included minor key works, and they had very different characters.

In short, I’m not sure E flat was particularly a favourite* key, more that the understood characteristics of the key provided a contrast with adjacent works in tonality, mood, and character.

* HC Robbins Landon suggests that f minor was in fact Haydn’s favourite key, but it was by no means his most frequently used tonality; beware the dangers of thinking most commonly used = favourite.



Elaine Blackhurst

@Serge Smirnoff
You are quite right about Opus 9 (1768/69) being the first set of ‘proper’ modern string quartets.*

Haydn wrote 68 in total, but the first ten - often listed as Opus 0, 1 and 2 - are five movement ‘divertimenti a quattro’; the remaining 58 from Opus 20 forward (1772), are without exception an unprecedented, and unbroken chain of masterpieces.

Additionally, Opus 9 and Opus 17 also contain some very fine works, and none of them are not worth repeated listening.
Even the very early works Opus 0,1, and 2 are professionally composed and lovely music - there is no such thing as immature, or ‘early’ Haydn.

* Mozart took the trouble to study these works, and noted the contents carefully as is clearly evidenced in some of his own works.



Serge Smirnoff

Gérard Begni, below is quote from booklet of Op 9 from Festetics-recorded set of quartets.

LÁSZLÓ SOMFAI (Author of text)

Opus 9: Haydn s first genuine String Quartets

The aged Haydn is supposed to have told Artaria, his Viennese publisher, when he was about to publish the collected string quartets, that the series should only include the quartets from no. 19 onwards. By that time, in fact, there had already been a kind of a collected edition in parts printed by Pleyel in Paris, in which three early sets of six works each (known today as opus 1, opus 2 and opus 3) were followed by no. 19, the first quartet of the set opus 9.

This statement from Haydn is of utmost importance. Although the 70-year-old composer s memory was failing rapidly and he was sometimes unable to tell whether a particular work from his early days was written by himself or not, the exclusion of the first 18 quartets in the Paris edition should have served as a warning to posterity. Unfortunately it was not taken seriously. <...>

===

László Somfai is a significant figure of international musicology, a dominant personality of domestic musicology and professional training first of all by his Haydn-researches.

//



All comments from YouTube:

LaVell Thompson, Jr.

As a general rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of writing remarks/comments on YouTube postings. HOWEVER, in the case of this piece, I thought it worth mentioning something VERY IMPORTANT (for those not already in-the-know). While listening to this piece recently, I discovered that Antonin Dvorak was inspired by this piece!


Dvorak's String Quartet no. 4 in E-minor has a second movement titled "Andante religioso." And, if you listen to THAT movement and the THIRD movement of this Haydn work, you'll hear a VERY CLOSE SIMILARITY in color, texture, counterpoint, and I (believe muted strings with both).


I'd not been familiar with the Haydn before hearing the Dvorak. And after discovering the Dvorak quartets (which are ALL AMAZING, FYI...if you're not familiar with them), I instantly fell in love with the 2nd movement of the 4th. So much so that I played it a million times. Anyway...my point is that when I required myself to start listening to the Haydn quartets (since I was not familiar with them...mostly for learning purposes and to see what he does with strings), once hearing THIS piece's 3rd movement, I had to do a double-take because I thought I was listening to Dvorak for a split second! It's very clear that Dvorak must have enjoyed Franz Josef Haydn's writing, too. :-) Clearly, Haydn--being a composer of the Classical period--wrote his music a century before Dvorak's late Romantic music.


Confession: I actually like the Dvorak version better. But, then again: I am a little biased. I'm not exactly a fan of Classicism (with many isolated exceptions). I mostly prefer all things 20th Century (with some exceptions). I also like the Baroque period. O.k. That's enough. lol Thanks for reading (for those who did). Feel free to comment, if you like. Here is a recording of the very piece I'm referring to with an interpretation I like:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiBv-GptHV8

tenoray1

@Elaine Blackhurst Hmmm...yes. I do believe that I heard or read that somewhere. It's very interesting to know this. I happen to consider Beethoven one of the finest composers in history (as does many people)! My point is that if Beethoven thought that highly of Haydn's work, then it's probably worth taking a more serious listen to and study of this particular piece. Thank you for sharing that information, Elaine!

Elaine Blackhurst

LaVell Thompson, Jr.
You might be interested to know that Beethoven chose to copy out the whole of this quartet for study purposes in 1794.

Haydn’s Opus 20 quartets are one of the great breakthrough moments in the history of western classical music; they defined what a string quartet was to be, and set a mark that became a standard for every future composer of string quartets.

Hans H. Staal

Wonderful light-footed performance. These postings are an endless source of musical pleasure, especially in these quasi-quarantaine corona times.

Lucas Zavaluentie

This quartet always makes me imagine being on a dark road at night in a car while listening to this.

Elaine Blackhurst

Whilst listening to this magnificent quartet, it’s worth thinking about why Beethoven in 1794, chose to copy out the whole work for study purposes. It’s interesting that in a work already nearly a quarter of a century old, that Beethoven felt he could learn something new.

Elaine Blackhurst

@Leonhard Euler
1. Take care over the word ‘inspired’ which is as absurdly over-used as it is mis-used by the ‘many people’ to which you referred.
Beethoven’s Opus 18 was absolutely NOT inspired by Mozart, nor anyone else - it was a standard commission as will be explained below, and was written at a time Beethoven felt both competent and confident to tackle the genre.

2. There are significant elements of Mozart and Haydn - in very different ways - in Beethoven’s DNA, so inevitably, there are occasional moments that may be described as reminiscent at best of his two greatest predecessors, and also obviously, evidence of what he had studied and learned from them.

3.Both Haydn’s Opus 77 and Beethoven’s Opus 18 were commissioned by the same person - Prince Lobkowitz - at almost the same time.
Haydn was busy with The Seasons - which basically finished him off - and he had not the strength to continue with the commission after completing the oratorio; he managed just two of the projected set of six.

Beethoven completed his six by 1801.

HC Robbins Landon has suggested that Haydn in fact DID hear Beethoven’s Opus 18, and then decided to quit the field to the young pretender; cue lots of speculation and conjecture along the lines of his alleged retreat from opera after hearing Mozart’s later operas.

4. Almost all Beethoven’s first published efforts were startlingly new - the Opus 1 piano trios, Opus 2 piano sonatas, 1st symphony, and Opus 18 quartets for example.
Whilst he had clearly been studying Mozart and Haydn quartets prior to writing Opus 18 - including copying out Haydn’s Opus 20 No 1, and Mozart’s K464 - Opus 18 is clearly at the dawn of a new age.
It was not ‘…inspired by’ or any such silly nonsense, but Opus 18 does show that he has assimilated much of Mozart and Haydn, but also that he had his own new ideas, and very original musical language.

5. Regarding recurring motifs in Beethoven, this was a key idea he took directly from Haydn.
The intensive working-out and development of thematic and motivic ideas is a common thread between Haydn and Beethoven.
Their shared technique of building larger scale movements out of small cells, and through-composition and cyclic integration - which were taken in new directions by Beethoven - all had their origins in Haydn, indeed they were worked by him to extraordinary levels as early as Symphony 45 (‘Farewell’) in 1772, and in terms of the string quartet, this was the ‘…composed in a new and special way’ of Opus 33 in 1781.

Hope that gives a little food for thought.

Leonhard Euler

@Elaine Blackhurst Many people think that Beethoven op 18 was inspired by Mozart Haydn quartets but i think it has a more direct relation to Haydn's op 20. Im not sure wether Haydn got to hear Beethoven's op 18 but i would asume he would be proud that he was able to master the form around the same age Haydn was when he wrote this piece.
Beethoven's c minor quartet is probably the direct "child" if you will of op 20 no 3, they both have reoccurring motifs throughout the piece.

Elaine Blackhurst

@Timothy Thorne
A few pointers:

1. Check out Christian Schubart’s Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkust (Characteristics of musical keys) of 1806.
An English translation is easily available if you Google it, and it will give you a fascinating insight into the thinking of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven into the widely understood characteristics of each tonality at the time.

2. That said, I think there is clear evidence that composers had certain keys that were special to them and inspired some of their most personal thoughts.
Mozart - g minor
Haydn - f minor
Beethoven - c minor.

3. All three of these composers wrote many sets of works - three’s as in Mozart’s last symphonies, or Beethoven’s Opus 1 and Opus 2; or sixes as in most of Haydn’s string quartets, his ‘Paris’ and ‘London symphonies, and Beethoven’s Opus 18.
Obviously, each work in each set was written in a contrasting tonality, usually included minor key works, and they had very different characters.

In short, I’m not sure E flat was particularly a favourite* key, more that the understood characteristics of the key provided a contrast with adjacent works in tonality, mood, and character.

* HC Robbins Landon suggests that f minor was in fact Haydn’s favourite key, but it was by no means his most frequently used tonality; beware the dangers of thinking most commonly used = favourite.

Timothy Thorne

Now I'm curious as to why Haydn, Mozart and (particularly) Beethoven chose Eb as one of their favorite keys to write music for string quartets and orchestral works. It's not as intuitive a key in writing for strings as G, C, or D for instance and can present difficulties for string players.

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