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PDG
01-09-2001, 07:17 PM
I am interested to hear people`s interpretations of what they know of Beethoven`s relationship with Joseph Haydn. Of course, after Mozart`s death, Haydn was THE composer in Vienna, & all of a sudden, he was presented with this extraordinary pupil who knew so much already. We know that the two men had an uneasy relationship, but to what extent?

Beethoven took lessons in vocal settings for music, from Salieri, for 10 years (FREE lessons!), which, towards the end must have been felt strange for both of them. Salieri, the great court composer, giving free lessons to Beethoven, a far greater composer than he. I am not aware of any bad feeling between the two during this 10 year discourse.

Beethoven`s relationship with Haydn was a difficult one, but why? Was it that Haydn`s geniality clashed with Beethoven`s uncouthness? If there were any mistrust, then why did the lessons continue? Haydn didn`t need the aggravation, and Beethoven probably didn`t need the lessons. I am not aware of Haydn ever denigrating Beethoven, and yet our hero does seem to have taken every opportunity to run down `papa` Haydn.

Perhaps Beethoven was jealous of the close friendship that Haydn had had with Mozart? Views, please?

Michael
01-09-2001, 08:40 PM
There does seem to have been an uneasy relationship between B and Haydn, but I would imagine, given B's contrary nature, that he would never be very friendly with any great composer that lived too near to him. His idols were either dead or living in another country, like Cherubini.
This sense of strain mightn't have been all on B's side. There is the famous story of Haydn meeting B and congratulating him on his succesfull ballet "The Creatures of Prometheus". B thanked him and said that his work was no "Creation". B was merely indulging his love of puns, but Haydn seemed to be affronted and replied: "Indeed, it is no 'Creation', nor do I expect it to become one."

Michael

Peter
01-10-2001, 05:05 AM
At the time that B became Haydn's pupil. new horizons were opening for Haydn - he had just returned from his first London triumphs and was already preparing for a return trip. I'm sure that after all the adulation he received in England, the prospect of teaching must have seemed very dull indeed - quite clearly his heart was not in it - and let's face it, having Beethoven as a pupil cannot have been easy!
It must however be remembered that Haydn did a lot for B, first in getting him to Vienna and then in introducing him to very influential people (Baron Von Swieten for example). As for B's admiration for Cherubini, I don't think too much should be placed on that, after all he didn't go to Paris to study with him - and when asked who the greatest living composer was (apart from himself) had great difficulty in thinking of anyone!

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'Man know thyself'

Martha
02-04-2001, 07:40 AM
I read in one bio. of Beethoven that B took his Piano Con. #1 to Haydn and the only comment Haydn had was,"It is very average. Just play music don't bother writing music"
He was also quoted as saying to one friend that Beethoven would not be remembered as a composer!!

Peter
02-04-2001, 11:33 AM
I've never read that Martha - there are only two negative quotes that I am aware of from Haydn - After Beethoven played his piano trio Op.1 no.3, Haydn is reported to have advised Beethoven not to publish it as he thought it was too difficult a work for the public to understand - Beethoven was furious and took it as a sign of Haydn's jealousy (a trait that was not part of Haydn's character - I'm sure Haydn genuinely had Beethoven's best interests at heart).
The other incident occured later after Haydn had praised Beethoven's Septet - Beethoven replied that it was not a 'Creation' (a pun on Haydn's great Oratorio that had recently been performed) - Haydn is supposed to have answered 'No, and I doubt that it ever will be!'

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'Man know thyself'

~Leslie
02-05-2001, 03:01 AM
Beethoven sought "to recieve the spirit of Mozart through Haydn's hands," as Count Waldstein put it.

The relationship got off to a bad start.

As soon as Beethoven submitted himself as a student to Haydn, who was already an aged, established composer busy with his own career, Haydn set the young Beethoven to the study of outdated counterpoint in church modes.

Six months went by , and it became evident to B that Haydn wasn't exactly the dedicated teacher he had hoped for. Beethoven did not confront Haydn, instead he spoke to Von Swieten about it. Von Swieten took B to Johann Schenck who wrote in his autobiography that the counterpoint exercises B submitted to Haydn were returned laden with uncorrected mistakes.

Schenck continued teaching B on the side , B submitted the exercises to Haydn, who knew nothing about Schenck's tutoring. . All this in the interest of keeping peace among the professionals.

This went on for nearly a year and B outgrew
the tutorship of Schenck, Haydn left again for London, and left B as a student to the thorough and painstaking teaching of Albrechtsberger.

It is easy to understand why Beethoven refused to have the words "Beethoven, pupil of Haydn" printed on the score of Trios Opus 1, as was requested by Haydn.

According to Ries, Beethoven let it be known widely enough to reach Haydn's ears that " although he recieved some instruction from Haydn, he had never learned anything from him".

Rod
02-05-2001, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Peter:
I've never read that Martha - there are only two negative quotes that I am aware of from Haydn - After Beethoven played his piano trio Op.1 no.3, Haydn is reported to have advised Beethoven not to publish it as he thought it was too difficult a work for the public to understand - Beethoven was furious and took it as a sign of Haydn's jealousy (a trait that was not part of Haydn's character - I'm sure Haydn genuinely had Beethoven's best interests at heart).
The other incident occured later after Haydn had praised Beethoven's Septet - Beethoven replied that it was not a 'Creation' (a pun on Haydn's great Oratorio that had recently been performed) - Haydn is supposed to have answered 'No, and I doubt that it ever will be!'


Couldn't resist this one, in the interests of accuracy, I believe the Beethoven work witnessed by Haydn in this story was 'Creatures of Prometheus', not the Septet.

Peter
02-05-2001, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Couldn't resist this one, in the interests of accuracy, I believe the Beethoven work witnessed by Haydn in this story was 'Creatures of Prometheus', not the Septet.

Thanks for that Rod, I think I was mixing up my quotes - According to Dolezalek after the first performance of the Septet at the Schwarzenberg palace Beethoven is reported to have said 'That is my Creation'.

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'Man know thyself'