Talk:Joseph Haydn

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Potential for a general "Haydn" template[edit]

I created this template as an experiment, and feel that perhaps I should get some feedback on whether it would be any use to place at the bottom of this article? The reason for making it was that it would be nice to have a summary list of various details on the composer, categorised, rather than simply a long "See Also" link list. One problem I encountered is the blurred lines between collegue and friend, as well as the fact that he knew so many people - meaning many less significant individuals must be left out. I may have been slightly overkill on what I included, but perhaps there could be some suggestions as to what should be removed, and what not? Antienne (talk) 16:19, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello Antienne,
General reaction: be sure to plan ahead, so that in 2015 this template isn't huge and unwieldy.
Specific suggestions:
  1. Don't link to every string quartet opus number (since that implies, eventually, about 15 links).
  2. I'm not sure that Vanhal was close enough to Haydn to be listed. All I know of is the quartet-playing episode related in Haydn and Mozart; perhaps they had other encounters...
  3. Ignaz Pleyel deserves a place among the associated.
  4. The more I read about Gottfried van Swieten the less I think he was Haydn's "friend." Perhaps change "Employers" to "Employers and patrons" and include van Swieten there.
  5. For "Associated musicians", it might be better to include the link that specifically discusses the relationship to Haydn. Thus, Haydn and Mozart, rather than the main Mozart article. For Beethoven, there's an article Beethoven and his contemporaries that discusses his associates, Haydn included.
  6. Are the modern biographers important enough to include? One might eliminate them and move Dies and Griesinger to the associates.
I hope this is helpful. Yours truly, Opus33 (talk) 16:53, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Opus on #1. I'd also remove the specific Paris & London links. I would move the "Hoboken catalogue" link up to lead off the list of works section.DavidRF (talk) 17:18, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback! All of the ideas suggested improve the template, so I altered everything accordingly. I like it that there is room for future expansion in the associated musicians section. I get the feeling that at some point there will be enough articles to warrant a section on elements of his musical style - which could then also include the Sturm und Drang and Double variation articles currently tacked on the end. I'll leave this thread here for a few days in case anybody wants to suggest more improvements before including it. Antienne (talk) 00:05, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

List of Oratorios[edit]

Just like the collection of other works, I guess Oratorios should also be collected in a list. Make sure to include "Il ritorno di Tobia", the first oratorio of Haydn. Definitely worth mentioning. There is a great recording of it with Doráti. (talk) 20:52, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

We now have a brief article on it. Opus33 (talk) 18:21, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


I have replaced "evolution" with "change" in the heading of the styles section, as the term "evolution" suggests that later works are somehow better than earlier ones, and that there was a line of progress from worse to better along his life, which is, I'm sure, not what you want to suggest. Corrado7mari (talk) 21:16, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello, it is what one would want to suggest. See, e.g., Charles Rosen's work, which lays out some very particular ways in which Haydn's work became gradually deeper and more sophisticated. Even James Webster (in the Grove Dictionary), who is generally hostile to conceptions that Haydn made "progress", has to concede in the end, "other things equal, a later work of Haydn will be more complex and concentrated than an earlier one". Cheers, Opus33 (talk) 21:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I know both authors you mention and a number of others. I'm afraid you misread Webster to suit your biases, though. That his later music is more "complex" (pretty factual) does not mean that it is "better" unless you want to equate complexity with quality, which is something that would hold no water with most musicologists. Is Otello better than Rigoletto, or Tristan better than Lohengrin, of Prokofiev's 7th better than his 1st? They certainly are more complex, but better?.Your words "deeper", of course, is subjective, and "sophisticated" is just another word for "complex" in the language of certain germano-centric critics. You will need to do much better than reading your opinions into the words of reputed academics to hold your claim for the superiority of Haydn's later works. You would also be hard pressed to find an academic musicologist of note who claims that making judgements of value on musical works is part of their task (not that they aren't asked to). I won't be changing the article again myself, though. I know well enough about how Wikipedia works and how its self-styled "editors" keep reverting the work of so-called "trolls" to know the futility of such effort. It is quite clear to me why academics tend to stay away from contributing to Wikipedia. But then, of course, I would be damned if Wikipedia were a musicological source for me! I'm merely concerned with readers who are not musicologists and don't have access to academic sources (and that's not Rosen's Sonata Forms nor Grove - not for me, at least; I read those at conservatoire undergraduate level) you see. Cheers.Corrado7mari (talk) 22:47, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you have the opinion that evolution means that something is better. Evolution, in the usage here, could be simply understood as "change". --Izno (talk) 21:15, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow! I never knew that PhDs were so different from us. --Ravpapa (talk) 04:58, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Izno is quite right: you can say that Haydn's style "evolved" even if you don't think he actually improved. There was really no need to get into all these other issues. Cheers, Opus33 (talk) 06:10, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Do "most musicologists" really hold that Haydn's long experience brought no advantages? --RobertGtalk 06:26, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

The fact that Corrado understood evolution as a change for the good means that there is a potential and quite a large one that others will do also. This is because evolution is generarly portrayed as for the better in general speak. Therefore to prevent such a misinterpretation I believe it should be changed. Tugrul Irmak (talk) 10:45, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Guttenbrunn portrait caption should be 1791-2, not 1770. Ref help please?[edit]

I've changed the date in this caption but don't know how to reference it correctly in the style of the article: can you help please? The point is that Guttenbrunn did (at least) two Haydn portraits, and this is the (or a?) later one. It is identified in Wyn Jones, 2009, as such. Here are the facts, if some nice person could please sort it out into a proper reference. Sadly I'm not up to speed with how the notes and references work in this article.

  1. David Wyn Jones, 2009, The Life of Haydn, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-89574-3
  2. The portrait on the front of Wyn Jones is the same as that captioned here. I took the wp photo from the same original portrait as Wyn Jones did his.
  3. From the book's dust jacket: "Jacket illustration: portrait of Haydn by Ludwig Guttenbrunn, c.1791-2; private collection, London."

Is that enough for someone to cobble together a proper reference, please? (If indeed it needs a reference?) Thanks for your help, best wishes, DBaK (talk) 19:43, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello DBaK,
Thanks for pointing this out. I'll try to find Wyn Jones and other sources to help out on this.
There is a complication. Looking at the picture, it seems pretty clear to me (do you agree?) that it portrays a man in his forties--compare it to the more famous Thomas Hardy portrait at the top of the article, showing a 60 year old Haydn. I would guess that Guttenbrunn did the 1770 portrait from life, then copied it (adding detail) 20 years later, when both he and Haydn were in London and Haydn was all the rage. If the portrait is basically an image of Haydn as he looked in 1770, I would think that labeling it as being from 1791-92 is both correct and slightly misleading.
The best solution, I think, would be to find the 1770 version and substitute it. Or maybe we could just change the caption on the existing image.
Regards, Opus33 (talk) 16:04, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the reply and the very interesting point. It's nice to hear from you again. I do agree that Haydn in the picture seems younger than Haydn at the picture's date, yes! I have an odd feeling that I've seen this mentioned somewhere, that Guttenbrun had another bash or bashes. It may, I suppose, have been in Wyn Jones which is a pity as my daughter's just taken her copy off me, chiz! I don't agree, though of course I am biased, that we need to replace it with the "real" 1770 one. Why? Well, we've got it already, is one part of it, so no more effort is needed in procurement; I went to a certain amount of trouble to get that particular photo, and it's free of copyright issues (it's my pic, taken directly from the original with its owner's blessing); and some nice de. user went to a lot of trouble to correct, beautifully, my bad colours, making it much more lifelike than the rather orange cast (cheap suntan? Joseph Kilroy-Silk??) version I'd got. All of these make me more inclined to say let's stick with it. It shouldn't be beyond the wit of, er, person to come up with a caption which sorts this issue out without making it 684 words long ... I hope! I might have a go myself ... or not. Thanks again, DBaK (talk) 22:51, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Update: I have had an initial try at making the caption more helpful. Please feel free to chip in. Currently I've done nothing about a reference for it (I don't understand the system) but maybe someone will, or maybe I will get round to it. Cheers, DBaK (talk) 11:22, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Hi, this looks good to me.
I didn't mean to make light of the very useful work you had done, DBaK. It's just that we'd ideally like to get portraits spaced out in time to illustrate Haydn at all available life stages. So I was worried about "losing" the ca. 1770 period. That's all.
In the long run, there's no reason not to include (perhaps in a satellite article) every authentic portrait of Haydn. For example, right now we're missing a very nice one, the earliest I think, showing Haydn in his 30s, wearing Esterhazy livery. And it would be nice for readers to be able to compare the two Guttenbrunns. And so on. Cheers, Opus33 (talk) 15:09, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Needs an update![edit]

I'm not a regular Wiki editor, but please see this news article and update the page accordingly. Seems to be a rather important development in the story of Haydn.

See (talk) 17:04, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Birthdate revisited[edit]

Re this edit by Antandrus:

We could handle the detail in a footnote, rather like we did with Beethoven. Digging around, I find the same things I did last time: the very recent New Grove article (James Webster and George Feder) has a definite March 31 with no detail, Slonimsky has March 31, and the Oxford Companion to Music (also online now that has consolidated their different publications into a single subscription website) has, curiously, "31 March or 1 April." Perhaps I was too hasty with my rollbacks. We could say "probably born 31 March" with a footnote explaining the issue, -- and maybe an inline caution to check the talk page before changing the date or the wording. Antandrus (talk) 23:17, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Tks for the quick resp, Antandrus. Hmm, curious. I wonder if any of those authoritative sources stating he was born 31 March have unearthed any documentary evidence for it, in which case I'd love to see it, because there never was such material in days gone by, which is why decent references were cautious about being too definite about his birth date (a la Beethoven, "Shakespeare", et al). There seems to be a real human need to plug gaps in the record with what look like facts, when there's nothing to back them up except what effectively amounts to tradition. But we're not mere humans here, we're above that sort of stuff.  :) -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 23:29, 1 May 2010 (UTC)


Following Antandrus's suggestion, I've put in a footnote summarizing what my most informative reference sources say. The picture seems to be this. The Catholic Church originally caused the problem by recording baptism dates, not birth dates. Therefore, it all comes down to the recorded memories of Haydn and his family. Some of Haydn's family members said 1 April, but Haydn himself said 31 March. Many biographers simply take Haydn's word for it and report only 31 March, but others prefer to convey a sense of uncertainly.

Other trivia I found, and suppressed:

  • The monument to Haydn in his home town of Rohrau gives 1 April.
  • Albert Christoph Dies, who screwed up in so many other aspects of his biography, gives 30 March; no one else does.
  • Haydn actually told Carl Rosenbaum (the Esterhazy official who later stole his head) that he was born at 4:00 in the afternoon (of the 31st).

The first line of the article is now a bit cluttered with more footnotes but I think we should be fairly thorough in covering little fact-messes like this one. Opus33 (talk) 18:34, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Opus! Nicely done. I like the wording; it's clear and concise. Regarding first-line clutter, that may be a necessary evil in the cases where either date or nationality attract repetitive drive-by edits. Cheers, Antandrus (talk) 19:29, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Name in the opening paragraph[edit]

User Kraxler is correct in putting the "Franz" back in (somehow it got taken out earlier, which was a mistake). However, it's important to be clear that the general public (including record companies, newpapers, and music publishers) often uses the full baptismal name "Franz Joseph Haydn". In other words, there is a disconnect between the usage of Haydn experts (which we follow, since we're an encyclopedia) and the more common public usage. I've restored the rest of the original wording to make this clear. Opus33 (talk) 15:27, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

To say that "scholars avoid" the Franz is beside the point, the truth is that Haydn himself avoided it. There is something in German called the "Rufname" (i.e. that one of many baptismal names which a person is, almost exclusively, called by; the other names appear only in legal documents and encyclopedias). This is not easy to understand sometimes, but it is made sure for people with an ordinary level of comprehension by seeing that the name of the article is just "Joseph Haydn". That should be enough to leave the Franz out of any mention in the media, but as it is not so in practice, the difference should be mentioned in the opening paragraph, not in a footnote (which is appparently not read by the occasional, hurried reader). It is the pattern for people who used pseudonyms, or otherwise a name different from their full baptismal names (see Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.) Also, the general rule for pronunciations is to be added right after the name, in the parantheses before the birthdate. I'm not sure if there is a general guideline about this, but I propose to follow the standard pattern, for the time being. In this case, the pronunciation referring to the shorter name, it should be added there, not in a footnote anyway. (I had never seen before a pronunciation added in a footnote.) Kraxler (talk) 15:11, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I just wanted to second this motion: I'm a violin professor, putting together a studio recital program, and wanted to use the "right" name. I wondered, "What's the deal--is 'Joseph Haydn' an anglicized version that he used in London? Should I use Josef vs. Joseph based on where he wrote the work?" I scanned the article to no avail, and figured "I'll bet it will be mentioned in the talk page." It was—but perhaps not all users will be as persistent. —Andy Bonner (talk) 23:08, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing this up. I've tried to improve matters by putting back a footnote removed earlier that addresses the "Franz" problem. Non-use of the (merely baptismal) name Franz really does reflect the practice followed by Haydn and the people who knew him; all modern biographies are clear on this point.
Concerning "Josef" vs. "Joseph", I've had a harder time finding relevant reference sources. What I think is true is that Haydn spelled his name "Joseph"; and that where we see "Josef", this is the result of modern German speakers substituting the current standard German spelling of the name, much as English speakers might respell "Iames" as "James". If anyone has seen reference sources that address this point I would like know. Opus33 (talk) 18:04, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Just an update: the article Haydn's name, written since the above discussion, tries to cover this stuff in full. Opus33 (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

As of now, the opening is awkward: If you read the text in parentheses, it currently reads "F.J.H., J.H., J.H., known as J.H.", which is repetitive and somewhat silly. If you skip them, it reads "J.H., known as J.H.", which doesn't make any sense. I am therefore deleting the "known as J.H." part. Maybe we want the article Haydn's name a bit more visible; to be honest I didn't notice the first footnote until I edited the article, and I'm a bit concerned it may become less visible after the removal. — Sebastian 05:35, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Haydn's publication name[edit]

It seems that Haydn did not always publish under the name Joseph. He signed most of his manuscripts "Giuseppe" (the Italian version of his name). Although "Joseph" probably was most common on his publications, some of Haydn's works were published under "Giuseppe". My searching on Google Books (try "Giuseppe Haydn") found examples published by Hummel, by Longman and Broderip, and by Breitkopf and Haertel.


So I tweaked the intro so it would no longer claim that Haydn always published under "Joseph". Opus33 (talk) 16:43, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

He signed his scores as Giuseppe? Can you post a copy of any one of these here? It appears, foreign editors translated his name (a very common practice, still today in Brazil you can get books by "Júlio Verne" which does not mean that Jules Verne himself signed any manuscripts as such). Can you give me a link to anything published in the German-speaking areas which has "Giuseppe"? Kraxler (talk) 14:55, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

1) Karl Geiringer's biography of Haydn (p. 202, cited in main article) calls the inscription "di me Giuseppe Haydn" ("by me, Joseph Haydn") "typical".

2) Searching Google Books on "di me Giuseppe Haydn", Haydn's usual inscription, for ten minutes, gives:

Look -- it is you who put an unchecked, inaccurate statement in the WP, but you're asking me to do the research to check it. This seems totally backwards. Opus33 (talk) 02:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Very interesting, I always saw "Joseph Haydn" written on the record covers, but the record companies are certainly inaccurate there, they should print "giuseppe". Kraxler (talk) 02:19, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Needs a list of works[edit]

The sub-lists for the main genres are a good idea, but Haydn wrote so many other works besides that not being able to find a good list of them is a little frustrating. The sub-lists can be linked from the main one to go into detail on more specific genres.

If somebody knows enough about his output, or is any good with Wikipedia-format lists, perhaps beginning List of compositions by Joseph Haydn may be in order (talk) 06:17, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

BBC Radio 4 programme "Hunting Haydn's Head"[edit]

BBC Radio 4 programme "Hunting Haydn's Head" details here (talk) 11:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

See Haydn's head, which cites this program. Opus33 (talk) 16:21, 18 November 2010 (UTC)


I find it rather surprising that no mention is made of Haydn's induction as a freemason in a Viennese lodge. He was sponsored by Mozart. Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 23:36, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

You can find this topic discussed in Haydn and Mozart. It 's not clear to me that it is worth including in the main Haydn article because according to the sources I've read, Haydn attended only one meeting. Opus33 (talk) 02:07, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Removing old reference source[edit]

Hello, I removed a big box that referred the reader to a sister project giving the following paragraph on Haydn:

Haydn (hā'd’n), Joseph, a German composer, was born in the village of Rohrau, on the borders of Hungary and Austria, March 31, 1732. He was the son of a poor wheelwright, but early developed decided musical genius. At the age of eight he was received into the choir of the cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna, but ten years afterward his voice broke and he lost his position. Thereafter, for some time, he lived in great poverty, earning a small sum by street-playing and serenading, until he hoarded enough to hire an attic and a piano, when his most strenuous studies began. The first recognition he received was from Herr Kurz, a theatrical manager, who heard him playing one of his own compositions under his window and commissioned him to write an opera. His musical theory was directly opposed to that of J. S. Bach and Handel. His first quartet for stringed instruments was written in 1750 and his Creation and The Seasons in 1795-96. He died on May 31, 1809. His compositions are exceedingly numerous, comprising over 600 in number. See Miss Townsend's Life of Haydn.

The reason is that this is filled with errors. The pronunciation of Haydn is wrong, his father was not poor, his attic had a clavichord not a piano, he was not a musical theorist, his first quartet is now considered to have been written several years later than 1750, and The Seasons was written ca. 1800, not 1795-1796. The biography is also very unbalanced, overemphasizing the first 20 years or so--I guess the author had fulfilled quota and got tired of continuing. There is much better material available on Haydn these days and it's no favor to our readers to refer them to out-of-date, inaccurate material. Opus33 (talk) 00:23, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Struggles As a Freelancer section[edit]

First paragraph ends with "he opened a sex shop". Can someone please delete? (talk) 16:40, 24 April 2012 (UTC)Daniel Baedeker

It had already been deleted at the time of your posting. --Toccata quarta (talk) 16:46, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Papa Haydn[edit]

I've checked out the Papa Haydn page and I think that article should be part of the Joseph Haydn article. Should we? (talk) 21:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I personally don't think it should. Joseph Haydn is already massive as is. 27KB's! If anything I think the article (Joseph Haydn), should be split up a bit. I say no if this were to get any further. Lighthead...KILLS!! 01:20, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose – The subject of the Papa Haydn article is not essential to the main article and is best kept separate. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:32, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose Make it official. Lighthead...KILLS!! 05:09, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agreeing with both Lighthead's and Michael's arguments. Opus33 (talk) 20:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Clarify: The issue is not really whether the articles should be merged, but rather whether the article Papa Haydn should be there at all. The article speculates that the name "Papa Haydn" arose because of Haydn's supportive attitude toward his court musicians - something already appearing in this article - and that it arose as a sort of corruption of "Father of the string quartet/symphony" - a speculation that is almost certainly incorrect. It also includes a quote about why "Papa Haydn" is an inappropriate nickname, and a doggerel meant to be sung to the tune of the Surprise Symphony, of dubious encyclopedia-ness. So I say, why not simply delete Papa Haydn? --Ravpapa (talk) 05:59, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
"Papa Haydn" is a widely used moniker. Grove and other works cover the term, so it is notable and deserves an article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:17, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
okay. whatever. --Ravpapa (talk) 07:46, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Clarify: I think the main problem is sourcing; obviously opinions off-the-top-of-one's-head about why Haydn was called "Papa Haydn" don't belong in WP. But I was encouraged in this respect by noticing the coverage on this topic given in Oxford Composer Companions: Haydn. This is the best reference source on Haydn I have seen and it appears that most of the leading experts on Haydn contributed to it. The brief article on "Papa Haydn" by Clemens Hoeslinger singles out precisely the three items we have covered in the Papa Haydn article: "Papa" as term of affection, "Papa" as father of symphony/quartet, and "Papa" as patronizing term. I'll fill in a few other details from Hoeslinger shortly. I think that with this sourcing, there should not be a problem with "encyclopedia-ness". Thanks for listening, Opus33 (talk) 20:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Haydn and contemporary Jewish contexts[edit]

I'm moving this section to the talk page:

By the mid eighteenth century, Jewish stereotypes were engrained in European culture, and frequently caricatured in a comedic manner in the theatre. Haydn incorporated coded Jewish caricatures in two works for the stage: Der (neue) krumme Teufel (The [new] limping devil, 1752; rev. 1759) for the German Theatre in Vienna; and the comic opera Lo speziale (The apothecary, 1768) for Eszterháza. Haydn had many occasions to observe and possibly interact with Jews near his places of employment in both Vienna and Eisenstadt, where he worked with the well-known Viennese comic actor Joseph Felix von Kurz (de) (known as Bernardon), who specialized in Jewish portrayals. Leopoldstadt in Vienna, which was home to the Judenstadt (Jewish ghetto), was located directly across from the church of the Barmherzige Brüder(de) (Brothers Hospitallers) where Haydn worked in the 1750s, and in the small town of Eisenstadt Jews lived a protected ghetto just west of the Esterházy palace.[1]
Haydn's setting of the Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (c. 1775), honouring St. John of God, the patron saint of the Brothers Hospitallers, has been interpreted as a Mass modified to accommodate congregants in the process of transitioning to the Catholic faith. In the setting of the Credo in this Mass, the second article of faith (describing Jesus Christ as the only Son of God) is omitted. Its absence is disguised by the mellifluous texture created by the missa brevis style, whereby different lines of text are delivered simultaneously by the soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts. While textual omissions in this and other Mass settings have traditionally been attributed to Haydn’s absentmindedness, the consistency of the omissions suggests they were intentional: the omissions likely acted as a symbol of the composer's discontent with the rigidity and authoritarian nature of the religious institution, revealing his sociopolitical ideals, empathetic enlightened views, and efforts toward easing the process of conversion.[2]
  1. ^ Clark, Caryl (2012). Haydn's Jews: Representation and Reception on the Operatic Stage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107404496.  "Introduction"; and Caryl Clark, "Haydn's Judaizing of the Apothecary", Studia musicologica, 51/1–2 (2010): 41–60.
  2. ^ Caryl Clark, "Haydn's Conversion Masses", Journal of Musicological Research 28/2–3(2009): 189–211.

The problems I see are as follows:

  • The claim that the characters in Der Krumme Teufel and Lo Speziale are specifically Jewish stereotypes is quite speculative (I've read the Clark article). It's just not reasonable or fair to say something bad about Haydn (i.e. that he was an anti-Jewish bigot) on the basis of mere speculation.
  • It's not clear why it's relevant that Haydn lived in proximity to Jewish ghettos; it hardly distinguishes him from a great number of other Austrian gentiles.
  • It's possible that the Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo is a "conversion mass" but not proven. At any rate, this particular paragraph might better be incorporated into the article on the mass itself; it's too much detail for the main Haydn article.

Opus33 (talk) 23:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for moving the section here and for your thoughts. I concur. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:59, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Several reviews of Clark's book by prominent scholars (Bruce A. Brown, Jeanne Swack) have stated that most of her theories are untenable and that none of the presented evidence is compelling. The book is fraught with embarrassing errors and countless mistranslations. It should not be the basis of a paragraph on Wikipedia.--Suessmayr (talk) 12:49, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


there's no page for the op.64 quartets yet, but I am curious if someone might know when Haydn's quartet op.64/6 in E- whose first movement appears in its first (I think) edition (published by Bland of London...) of c.1792, with a clear Allegro marking (these parts can be seen over @ IMSLP scanned) - first started being given the Allegretto marking it is without exception given today? Rather changes the character of the movement (now described as "serene" in books on Haydn's quartets, etc.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 19:20, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

This is an interesting point and also a hard (at least for me) data question. I only own the cheapo Dover reprint of Eulenberg, which of course has Allegretto for the movement you mention. The same edition has a mutilated opening of Op. 33 no. 1 and omits the cute glissandi in the minuet of Op. 33 no 2. I don't know how such unfaithful renderings arose; though I do know that Pleyel's early edition was influential. Opus33 (talk) 00:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

That's useful in itself, thank you. I can also add that the first trio of Op.64/6 is left out of the Eulenburg/Dover edition - in the "Bland" parts the minuet has a more interesting, double-trio structure of sorts (A-B-A-enhanced variant of B-A (the performance available via the Gardner Museum does seem to go by the original menuet/trio/etc. I'm glad to say- I quite like what Haydn did there, in fact. A whole learn-something-new-every-day feeling, here. :) Eulenburg only retains the enhanced variant of the trio, which loses the evolution/contrast/whatever.) Schissel | Sound the Note! 04:23, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Argh! Argh! Who are these editors? Why are they doing this to Haydn? (just venting :=) ).
I now remember that somewhere, James Webster has said that musicians should not trust any editions of Haydn at all and should use facsimiles instead. And it's not just Haydn: Charles Rosen, in his book The Romantic Generation, gives instances where Chopin has similarly been badly served. Sorry to go off topic -- though perhaps worth thinking about: maybe someday long term WP will be able to provide musicians with good information about what editions to trust and what not to. Opus33 (talk) 05:48, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't think I've met him, but he (Prof. Webster) works over "up the hill" from me. Anyhow, I can't quite agree- I agree about the legions of bad editors, but IMSLP is filled with scans of messy autographs and holographs that could use, but will probably never receive, superb editorial attention (whether or not they are themselves autographs of superb works...) Schissel | Sound the Note! 10:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I did a brief listen-to of recordings at YouTube. Some of the recordings list the movement as "Allegro", some as "Allegretto" but everyone - including the classic recording by the Quartetto Italiano plays it within one or two metronome notches of each other, at a tempo which is definitely allegro, not allegretto. Interesting. Ravpapa (talk) 16:13, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Later: I just realized that the movement is in cut time. So, counting it in two, the tempo is allegretto. Counted in four, it is allegro. this might be the source of the confusion.Ravpapa (talk) 08:02, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Merge Joseph Haydn's ethnicity into this article?[edit]

Someone wants to do this, and put a banner on Joseph Haydn's ethnicity to this effect. I think this would actually not be a good idea at all. Here is background and argument.

  • In brief, Haydn's ethnicity is something that no responsible modern scholars ever disagree about (as you might expect, he was Austrian/German). You can read about this if you care to at Joseph Haydn's ethnicity.
  • But there are web crackpots, to this day, who insist that Haydn was Croatian. See, for instance, this site .
  • Random readers encounter this Croatian stuff and want to know if it is correct. WP serves the public by providing them with material sourced from reputable modern reference works.
  • However, among serious scholars Haydn's ethnicity is an old, dead issue. Most modern reference sources don't even bother to address the question because they have limited space and it's not their job to address every crackpot theory. We have unlimited space and can do this, at least for the more common crackpot theories.

The upshot is that Haydn's ethnicity is just the sort of thing that a satellite article is for: we satisfy the curious with the satellite, and avoid stuffing the main article with trivia. Opus33 (talk) 03:04, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the 3 articles suggested to be merged here should stay where there are. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:55, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the same, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:10, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that things are best left as they are. William Avery (talk) 07:50, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree also that these articles are best left separate. They cover trivial or tangential aspects that would constitute clutter and excessive detail if merged into the main article, but are fine as separate articles. Did the editor proposing merges explain their rationale anywhere? If so, I can't find their explanation. --Deskford (talk) 11:02, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

Long sequence of edits from Cancina5645[edit]

This article is not long enough. Cancina5645 (talk) 17:51, 22 September 2014 (UTC) I want all my text back. He did resign in 1804. Its on the naxos website. The information about the Paris Symphonies is true. Cancina5645 (talk) 21:08, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we cannot accept original research. I see that you have had problems with the OR guideline in the past, and I urge you to reread what others have told you about combining published sources in a way to imply something that none of them explicitly say. Feel free to add back any material for which you are able to cite a specific, reliable source. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 23:14, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
In my edit summary I mentioned the lack of reference sources in User:Cancina's edits but there seem to be other problems too.
  • "Every choral work of the period (1796-1802) has purity of sound and are more sublime and dynamic than what the public had seen before." -- this is just flat out opinion, without a supporting citation.
  • "Shopfungmesse". This is a very inaccurate spelling (indeed, humorously, though probably not intentionally).
  • "He retired at the age of 72, with his arms and limbs failing him." No biography I've ever read mentions arm trouble; though they repeatedly mention painful swelling of his legs.
  • "By 1790 Haydn was in the paradoxical, if not renewing position of being Europe's leading composer, " 'Renewing' is nonsensical as far as I can tell.
  • "This is because he composed more full-length symphonies and more string quartets than any other composer of his time." I've read quite a few reference sources and none of them say this. Rather, it was the quality and influentialness of these works, not their quantity, that is repeatedly mentioned.
I don't want to edit-war, but I also don't want this article to decline in quality as a result of what seems to be a whole river of added mistakes. Maybe other editors could weigh in? Opus33 (talk) 23:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the complete removal. Cancina, please review some of the basic Wikipedia policies and guidelines as given above in links. You must write in a manner free from personal opinion, expressing only in your own words what others have already published in reliable sources. In a mature, stable article such as this one, this is a difficult job, because it's attained a state of equilibrium -- different stylistic periods, different parts of his life, are all appropriately balanced and written at a professional level. I suggest you focus on one particular area that you feel is deficient, and suggest an improvement here on the talk page, giving a reference source. Antandrus (talk) 00:01, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Moving an item to talk page[edit]

I'm moving one other contribution of User:Cancina to this talk page:

One of his last compositions was the Harmoniemesse, performed and written in September 1802. He submitted a resignation to the Esterhazy family in 1804.[1]

It completely interrupts the discussion of the elderly Haydn's disease, rendering it hard to follow. Also, I just don't think it's true that Haydn ever submitted his resignation. The source given is not peer-reviewed scholarship, and checking up, I'm getting different "resignation" dates from different web sources. Indeed, if I am remembering my reading correctly, Haydn never resigned at all. Just like his predecessor Werner, he got to keep the title of Kapellmeister until he died, and the people who were actually running the Esterhazy musical establishment after his departure (e.g. Hummel) were employed under other titles. I could see mentioning that the Harmoniemesse was Haydn's last major composition, but not in this interruptive location. Opus33 (talk) 22:21, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Yup, never resigned (Jones 2009). More on the unwinding of his career in new para. Opus33 (talk) 21:15, 27 September 2014 (UTC)


The Last Post[edit]

When I was searching for the composer of 'The Last Post' bugle call, a contributor to 'Yahoo Answers' claimed that the current standard score is 'generally' attributed to Haydn. If that's correct, it would be his most famous and least-heralded work. Can anyone elucidate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

It sounds a bit unlikely. On a quick look around I don't see anything that looks like a reliable source for this, just a lot of pages saying "some people believe ...", "it is widely thought ..." etc. But none of the pages I've seen look anything like a WP:RS and none of them give a reference for even this vague assertion. I'd be very very interested to see a reliable source for this but without that I think it's just a legend. Best wishes DBaK (talk) 08:08, 12 January 2015 (UTC)


Looking for an image of younger Haydn, I came across this one, unfortunately without date and artist. Any help? Use it anyway? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

You might want to consider the caption of that image as shown in Papa Haydn, added there in September 2006 by User:Opus33. A larger version can be seen at here and here. This page suggests its a 1870 painting by de:Karl Jäger (Maler). -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Gerda, for suggesting, and Michael, for the reference.
Unfortunately Haydn was wasn't wealthy enough to have his portrait painted until he was close to 40. As far as I know, any picture purporting to show him any younger is likely to be a posthumous artistic fantasy. There's a nice article by Robbins Landon in Oxford Composer Companions: Haydn on Haydn "iconography", which is where I'm getting this from. Opus33 (talk) 17:04, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, helped. (Famous Mozart image - on the Mozartkugeln - was also done well after his death.) Alternative: image of a keyboard instrument for which he would have composed a sonata in 1771. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 19:39, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Cleveland Steamer[edit]

Why does "The Cleveland Steamer" redirect here? megamalx (talk) 18:28, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

From the edit history it would seem to be the consequence of some old page move vandalism. I'll try to rectify it. Favonian (talk) 18:36, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Shame, I was thinking it was maybe Haydn's CB handle or something. DBaK (talk) 18:38, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
You read it here first. Opus33 (talk) 15:50, 15 June 2015 (UTC)

Which year?[edit]

This latest reversion thrilled my curiosity. Who is right? 1992 or 1991? In Commons it is shown as 1991 (commons:File:Joseph Haydn.jpg). Carlotm (talk) 20:10, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

I've checked in Jones's biography, which tends to be really careful, and it gives 1791. (I assume your "19"s are typos...) Opus33 (talk) 21:31, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
Oops. Carlotm (talk) 21:34, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
No problem. A bit more: some sources give 1792, but the Royal College of Music, which owns the painting, gives 1791 on their website. Opus33 (talk) 21:47, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
So 1791 seems to be the best choice, also because it is endorsed by Alan Davison's Thomas Hardy's portrait of Haydn (1791), where it can be read that the oil on canvas was exibited only in 1792, and that in this same year Thomas Hardy realized an engraving after Haydn's portrait. Changes eventually made in Haydn's page should be reiterated in Thomas Hardy page also. Carlotm (talk) 03:43, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

Old image, currently in the article
New image, currently removed from the article

I was surprised to see that the new image I've added was replaced with the old one. Let's talk about this. The old image, currently used in the article, can be seen in full here. It is very obvious to anyone who ever tried their hand at oil painting that the image is abhorrent. Luckily, we now have a new image available at Commons, and for those who have no experience with the medium, it would be enough to compare the two. The new version is available here. I strongly recommend looking at both pictures in full resolution, not just the thumbnails I've given here.

One thing to observe is that in real life, and in most paintings, objects have different colors, and painters, especially of the earlier eras, tend to attempt to render a green book using green, and a red curtain using red. If you look at the new image, you can see that the curtain is red, Haydn's hand is the color of human skin with some pink hues, and the tome he's holding is a mixture of green (cover), gold (cover), yellow (page edges), and grey (pages themselves, visible in the upper portion). Haydn's suit is very dark, black almost, becoming lighter grey where there is much light – just like black suits do in real life, light is reflected and dispersed on the surface.

In the old image, it is plain to see that none of these color differences are present. The pages of the book are all dull yellow. The cover of the book is still green, but a different shade, and that shade is the same as Haydn's suit in this picture. The entire suit appears to be dark green, with a white spot at the top, as if chalk was put there. In real life, a green suit exposed to soft light as here, would of course appear to have a brighter shade of green, perhaps mixed with yellow (artificial light, sun) or blue (natural light). The hand is mostly seen in shades of yellow, and the fingers are delineated with just dark borders, whereas in the new picture you can see how those pinkish brushstrokes also play a part in showing invidivual fingers. Observe also how in the new picture you can see that the chair has two shades of brown - one all-brown, at the right, and one with a reddish tint, at the left, reflecting light from the red curtain. In the old picture these nuances are gone, everything is a shade of brown. I could go on.

Some of you may do a little experiment: open the image in your image viewing software of choice, find the color balance setting in the menu, and try to shift the yellow-blue balance a bit to the blue side. You will immediately see that those original color differences become more apparent, because the entire image is doused with yellow. (Unfortunately, you can't just de-yellow it, because there are other problems as well.) No painter in their right mind would mix yellow into every color they use. Even if in this case the painter did such an insane thing, the new image would only exist is somebody took a lot of time to add nonexistent colors to the painting. So this kind of thing is only possible in two situations: (a) the image itself is bad, taken with a bad camera, bad light, etc., or (b) the varnish layer got yellow with age, as they always do, and the painting hasn't been restored.

The new image is not ideal, as the surface of the painting reflects some light, and the resolution isn't great. But at least it captures the colors of the original. Opus33 reverted with "the image makes Haydn look pale and sickly". I can't agree - look at all the pale pink and pale red hues! - but even if it does, surely a 59-year old person from the 18th century isn't expected to be particularly healthy? And why does it matter if the portrait "makes Haydn look [something something]" in someone's opinion, if the old image is demonstrably inferior, lacking in so much color information? --Jashiin (talk) 17:47, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

What would you think of zooming the image you like into greater detail? Opus33 (talk) 21:35, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
I have no objection to that. --Jashiin (talk) 22:57, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

"Prominent and prolific"[edit]

Should the lead say "prominent and prolific"? This is currently under debate.

"Prolific": this is simply a matter of fact, Haydn wrote a ton of stuff (see, for example, the list of works at the end of Webster's biography). Prolific is not a peacock word; there are composers (such as Czerny) who were prolific but not much admired.

"Prominent": I could go either way, but in a way I think this is factual as well; Haydn's music is performed and recorded a lot, it gets taught as part of the history of music, a fair chunk of the Penguin Guide is about him, he has a long New Grove article, etc. So it seems not unreasonable to indicate his standing in the lead. Opus33 (talk) 15:25, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with "prolific"; as you say it's pretty much a matter of fact that he composed in vast quantities. With "prominent" I'm less comfortable. Again I think it is valid in Haydn's case, but it's a word that is often used in articles on minor composers to try to give them an artificial boost, so it's a word I tend to distrust whenever I see it on Wikipedia. I'm trying to think of an alternative, less tainted word, but I haven't come up with one yet. --Deskford (talk) 18:29, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with "prominent" either, but I could see how an unfamiliar reader might think we are trying to use peacock words. What's notable about Haydn in this context is not that he's 'good' but that he's seminal and influential. He was one fo the earliest composers of the Classical Era and his works helped to codify many of the forms that would be used for the rest of that era and much of the Romantic Era. The next sentence in the lead paragraph spells that out with him being called the "Father" of at least two of those forms. DavidRF (talk) 20:04, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the input! I'm chucking "prominent". The sentences that follow say why Haydn was prominent, which is more more useful. Opus33 (talk) 23:55, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

I can't really argue with either word, but there is no denying that they are peacock words, and they don't change their nature just because they are considered accurate. Haydn was prolific and prominent, no doubt of it. But a reader who is unfamiliar with the topic has nothing to judge those words by. What makes someone "prominent"? How many works do they need to produce to become "prolific"? 10? 50? 100? The lead best sticks to facts that do not require the reader to interpret evaluations that have no clear measure, as the second sentence does presently. Would it be better to actually state the number of works by Haydn? Or to give examples of what makes him prominent? A quote by an authoritative source? If he is referred to as the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet", isn't that enough? --Escape Orbit (Talk) 12:17, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing. Opus33 (talk) 22:39, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

I have long found the word "prolific" in the opening of the article to be grating. The comment is made above that "there are composers (such as Czerny) who were prolific but not much admired". That is of course correct, and it also illustrates the problem: the word takes on asteistic connotations. When used for a composer it can often imply, particularly to the sceptical reader, the presence of a B-grade composer who churns out a lot of mediocre work. Haydn has been peculiarly vulnerable to this kind of lazy characterisation (many works but of no distinction) by people who don't understand music. I think the opening of the article would be perfectly good without any adjective to describe Haydn as a composer. The principal reason is that the best writing, whether journalistic or academic, presents the facts and allows the reader to work out their own summary adjectives for what they are reading. I don't see the benefit of forcing one-word descriptions of Haydn upon the reader in the article's opening sentence.

I also concur with the separate point raised by Escape Orbit that the word "prolific" is troublesome because it lacks a yardstick. If the measure were number of minutes of music composed per year of adult life, I suspect Mozart would have been more prolific than Haydn. Yet we would never dare use the word "prolific", above all other words, to describe Mozart. Which brings us back to the earlier point. Syek88 (talk) 06:42, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Although I said above that I didn't have a problem with "prolific", I think you are right. It doesn't add anything meaningful, and can have negative implications read into it. I would support removing the word. --Deskford (talk) 14:53, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

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