Haydn’s early work was always related to various models, whether it be Italian or French music, the Mannheim school or, last but not least, Czech music. As regards the latter, a concrete biographical event has recently been underlined: in 1757, Baron Joseph von Fürnberg got in contact with Count Morzin in Dolní Lukavice, a little village in the area of Pilsen, where Haydn worked between 1757/58 and 1761 as Kappelmeister and court-composer. Haydn’s activities in Dolní Lukavice raise the question of the influences he may have received during his stay. The problematic aspect lies in the fact that Haydn’s music is often intuitively understood to be related to Czech music, even though it cannot be really proved. The idea contrary to that is the influence of Antonio Vivaldi, which already existed in Haydn’s Viennese years but was to be intensified during the trip to Bohemia, and which can be apprehended far more clearly. Vivaldi had many far-reaching connections in Bohemia and he dedicated his Quattro stagioni to Count Venzeslav von Morzin, a relative to the Count in whose service Haydn was later to go into. In Dolní Lukavice, Haydn probably held in his hand the original dedicated score of Quattro stagioni. A short while later, he composed in Eszterháza his symphonies of the times of day, Le Matin, Le Midi and Le Soir, “programmatic symphonies which are so close to the baroque concerto grosso that they should be called mixed forms, and not regular symphonies” (J.P. Larsen). These complex intricacies between the young Haydn, Vivaldi and Bohemia should be the object of a thorough research, through a close musical analysis of the Viennese organ concertos of the 1750s down to the solo concertos composed in Eszterháza from 1761 onwards, via the symphonies of the times of day.
Joseph Haydn und Europa
Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Vivaldis Le quattro stagioni und Haydns Tageszeiten-Sinphonien