I’m listening to the Haydn Symphonies as part of a revisit muse.Yes,I recollect going through them decades ago,but you know how life has a habit of changing how you see ,hear,and feel things,so I thought that it was a good time in my life to experience them afresh.Now,this isn’t a minor enterprise,with over 100 to give my attention too,but it is worth the attention that I’m giving them.
As I started a few weeks back ,I’m almost at number 50.As I reflect on the overriding emotion that I’ve gleaned from musically digesting these great works,I would say that it’s one of Joy.Joy of the human creative spirit,joy of life,and joy fused with hope in something better to come.As I listen with my fresh ears,I feel the debt of gratitude that the composers that followed him showed.To them,he was “The Father of the symphony”,and he developed this wonderful orchestral form to a place where it now stands in the classical field.Non of us who had the privilege of a classical music education would ever minimise the importance of Haydn.To me,I’ve concentrated on the feelings that Hayden’s music evokes to me.These examples spur me on to examine my own feelings when I listen to his symphonies.As previously said,they have helped me to rekindle the joy of music that sometimes gets losts in the analysis of Bach fugue writing,the complex voicing ,the interweaving f counterpoint,of the sheer tonal shifts of chromatic music.Haydn presents his pockets of joy laced with superlative structure,and he doesn’t serve up mush,oh no,but he takes joy to levels that I hadn’t appreciated before.
Because of this,I have realised that in the revisiting of great works of art there are always angles ,perspectives,and events that I have missed,and I have found that without exception,this has been the case with my appreciation of all the great composers.Now,while many people struggle with classical as a genre,it’s certainly never a closed off community of “other people”,no,it’s a vibrant,giving community of folk who want others to experience music that still holds an appeal even today.
Of course,channelling enthauasm for classical should,I feel,be started as early as possible .Childhood is,to me,an excellent time to experience what it’s like to hear a live orchestra,and so many young people still remember their first exposure to an orchestra even though they are adults now.
At times,it appears a sad state of affairs when children have never heard a symphony orchestra,and I feel strongly that the arts should be more pivitol in the education of our children today.
So,Joseph Haydn ,if he were to come back to Earth today,would you like to meet him?What would you say to him?Just imagine having him as a dinner guest.
So,I’m loving listening to Haydn .Give him a go,please.