In his lifetime, Haydn was celebrated as one of the greatest composers in Europe. The boundless admiration of his contemporaries put him on a pedestal, where he was revered as a model for musical composition, and the situation was to last throughout the first decades of the nineteenth century. In June 1805, he was admitted as an associate member in the arts class of the “Institut de France”. Such a body did not merely admire and pay tribute to the “immortal talent” of the Viennese composer, it also tried to win the confidence of “one of the fathers of the musical art” and hoped to benefit from “the learned observations on the art that he professed throughout Europe”. Recent academic institutions such as the “Conservatoire”, as well as the “Institut” that acted as guarantor for the former, in their eagerness to found and consecrate their traditions, turned Haydn into the incomparable – yet not only – classical model. Haydn thus appears in instrumental manuals as well as in many courses and theoretical treatises on harmony and composition published at the time. The works by Momigny and Reicha paved the way for a systematic and rational form of teaching based on a new morphological vocabulary and relying, by way of demonstration, on the analysis of extracts from Mozart, Haydn and others. Their influence was considerable throughout the nineteenth century: Haydn’s music helped understand Beethoven’s, and even lost its supremacy as a result of that; indeed, the former was soon superseded by the latter as the unsurpassable model.
Joseph Haydn und Europa
Université de Tours
La musique de Haydn dans les méthodes, cours et traités, en France, de Momigny à Reicha : objet d’analyse et modèle de composition