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String Quartet in G HIII Op.76 No.1: 1. Allegro con spirito
Franz Joseph Haydn Lyrics

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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Elaine Blackhurst

@star dust
Thanks for your reply; my initial response was a polite form of saying ‘Nonsense’, but as you’ve explained your source, it now makes more sense.
It is however just possible that you might have mistaken which Beethoven works they meant.

The great Haydn scholar HC Robbins Landon has speculated that Haydn gave up on his Opus 77 set after completing only the first two, and implied links to his having heard Beethoven’s Opus 18; the two composers were working on the sets simultaneously for Prince Lobkowitz.

It is of course pure conjecture by HCRL, and in this case, a speculation with which I do not agree: Haydn had supreme confidence in his own abilities and was unlikely to be intimidated by his former counterpoint pupil in the manner he was by Mozart with opera.

Indeed, Haydn even started writing genuine Beethoven-type scherzi in some of the Opus 76 quartets, something the old man clearly learned from the younger; increasing old-age and an associated inability to concentrate and apply himself to composition - in spite of ‘…being tortured by ideas’ - were the reasons Haydn stopped composing.

Haydn in short, gave up on Opus 77 for two reasons: declining health, and the supreme effort he needed to summon-up to complete The Seasons.
The BBC should have made this clear instead of peddling unsubstantiated theories, prestidigitation, and codology.

The BBC aka Radio 3 does some good work, but the semi-deification of Beethoven at the expense of almost all other composers during 2020 was at times both patronising and ridiculous - Beethoven does not need bigging-up, we all know his true stature already: thank you.

The BBC’s knowledge and understanding of Haydn has gone backwards since the days of HC Robbins Landon making regular broadcasts on Radio 3 in the 1970’s and 1980’s - a shame, because a proper understanding of Haydn - Mozart too - enhances our appreciation of Beethoven himself.

Haydn’s Opus 76 are one of the absolute pinnacles of string quartet writing in western classical music; occasionally equalled, they have never been surpassed.
You’re quite right to rate them so highly.

Elaine Blackhurst

star dust
Beethoven’s Opus 59 was 1806; in 1799, Haydn completed only two quartets of the projected set of six* and attempted a third in 1803 (Opus 103), but was too frail and unable to muster the concentration necessary to complete the work.**

By 1806 Haydn had been in retirement for some time and was totally incapable of composing; he almost certainly never heard Beethoven’s Opus 59 as he was too frail to leave his own house.

Where did you find that totally spurious nonsense about him saying ‘he might as well stop writing string quartets’?

Additionally, whatever else he may have said or done, he never underestimated - or overestimated - himself; he was very aware of his stature as a composer and never ‘undervalued himself’.

* The two completed quartets were published as Opus 77.
(Haydn’s Opus 77 and Beethoven’s first set - Opus 18 - are contemporaneous, and both were commissioned at the same time by Prince Lobkowitz).

** The torso of this fragmentary d minor quartet consists of a B flat Andante grazioso, and a d minor Minuet with a tonic major trio; it is short of its two outer movements which would also have been in d minor, but Haydn never recovered the strength to complete it, and in 1806 sent it to the publisher unfinished and incomplete but with his famous musical calling card:

Hin ist alle mine Kraft, alt und Schwann bin ich.
(Gone is all of my own strength, old and weak am I).

All comments from YouTube:


I love the fact that you included the notes alongside with the music, many thanks !

Denny Phipps

Yes… impressive

Patrick MacNeil

Well, we know where Beethoven got some of his style now, don't we. Haydn, you were the master of the string quartet, but then so what, you invented it. Thanks for posting this opus Anthony.

François Knoerle

The opus 76/1 is one of the great musical work in the répertoire.Take for example the thème of the développement of the first movement:an abrupt and pure Corelli-Haendel spirit!!The second mouvement is sublime .The third,a real mendelssohnian scherzo!!The finale is the final triumph of the Haydn's imagination...


It's amazing as original as Beethoven was, how he and Haydn really do share a vibe.


Fantastic. Love the 2nd and 3rd movements in particular.

Asta Bundgaard Wanscher

I love it! ❤

William Dane

Eternal Haydn.

Lewis B

The second movement doesn't seem all that far away from the Cavatina from Beethoven's b flat quartet


2nd movement is beautiful ;'(

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