We all have perceptions of a particular composer’s sound. The more I listen to Haydn the more I understand he has many voices, and like that line in the New Testatment says, none are without meaning.
This symphony written between 1771-1772 has been called the grandfather of the 5th, which Beethoven began working on some 30 years later.
As I’m sure you’re all aware, music has always been important to me; I really can’t imagine life without it. Usually I go through phrases where I listen to a particular kind of music or artist. But through the years there has always been a constant.: Haydn. It’s a rare day indeed when I don’t listen to Papa. For the foreseeable future, the idea is to share with you some of the treasures I’ve found. Whether you agree with the following statements or not, I do hope you’ll come along and enjoy the journey.
“It’s not holy music, it’s like you and me; it’s very human and shows very normal feelings. More so than Beethoven. I feel better as a person and better in my life when I play Haydn. All art is about searching for answers about what happens after death. Haydn is the one who says, ‘I don’t have the answer, but it’s good, so who cares?'”
Adam Fischer from the Guardian article, The great Haydn road trip
“Haydn is the music of the future still. The true extent of his greatness is for the connoisseur a well-kept secret, for the larger public a ticking time-bomb that has yet to go off. When its hour comes, the explosion, rather than a Big Bang, will be a still small voice telling of the strange within the normal, the vast within the modest, the dark within the bright and vice versa: the essence of human experience in essentially musical terms.”
from Robin Holloway’s On Music: Essays and Diversions
Lyrics aren’t always what you imagine them to be. Perhaps like me, you’ve misunderstood a line or two. What the Lizard King was wailing was actually, “If you give this man a ride, sweet memory will die.”
Even if you do happen to understand the words correctly you may not know what all of them mean. I’ll confess being none the too wiser to the meaning of turnpike in Simon and Garfunkel’s lovely America. And I’ve only just realized what a flat-bed Ford looks like; it is not at all what I imagined.
“‘Alabama’ is a composition written by John Coltrane that appears on his album Live at Birdland (1963). It was written in response to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing on September 15, 1963, an attack by the Ku Klux Klan in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four girls.”
– Wikipedia entry for Alabama (John Coltrane song)
The Color of Movement
A university student
spent the summer cycling
with a controlled substance in his
At a bar on Route 66
he had a drink
with a local man
with the gift of gab
before going outside with him
to the alley.
They talked and joked
until a cop car peeked round
He quickly put away
all incriminating evidence
and stood perfectly still
convinced of his constitutional right
against unlawful search and seizure.
His newly-found friend, however,
was less convinced,
sprinting off like
a bolt of lightning.