This paper deals with Haydn’s Hungary in the second half of the eighteenth century, a period particularly dynamic throughout Europe. Changes in Hungary were quite surprising in comparison with other European countries. Indeed, the country had to be rebuilt after its liberation from the Turkish yoke, which did happen, and the newly-built and demographically doubled Hungary also followed Europe culturally. More and more Hungarians studied in Vienna and in foreign universities. Hungary was also to be seen among the members of the first Viennese Masonic lodge, and Freemasonry soon took roots in Hungary, Croatia and Transylvania. More and more aristocrats and civil servants lived and worked in Vienna. In spite of all that, Hungary remained a conservative country with, on the one hand, a majority of people deprived of civil rights and, on the other hand, a minority of highly privileged noblemen. Maria Theresa and Joseph II’s far-reaching – but undoubtedly anti-constitutional – attempts at modernising the country were undermined by this influential minority. The purpose of this paper is to show how Haydn was, in the course of three decades, the contemporary witness of the conflicts between Vienna and Hungary.
Joseph Haydn und Europa
Haydns Ungarn - Modernisierungsversuche und Kompromisse