Franz Joseph Haydn (Austrian, 1732-1809): Quartet in C Major, Opus 50 no. 2 mvt. 4
No musician ever wants to have to choose their favorite composer, and I don't either, but if you put a gun to my head and made me do it, I might have to go with Haydn. I find his music to be endlessly original and diverse--he can be humorous and quirky as well as heart-stoppingly beautiful; noble and elegant, or down-to-earth and rustic.
Haydn's 68 innovative string quartets earned him one of his nicknames, the "father of the string quartet." One prominent musicologist claimed that "no document in the history of music is more important than [Haydn's] opus 20"--a set of six quartets from relatively early in his career. Mozart himself, after studying the quartets of Haydn, returned to the genre and wrote a collection of his own, dubbed "The Haydn Quartets." Today's selection comes from Haydn's opus 50 quartets, which might have been an answer to Mozart's answer to his opus 20.
Listen to how members of a quartet both work together in different combinations, and take turns playing different material, handing it off to one another.
Just one more full week left of the challenge!
In May 2017 I challenged my students to practice every day for 30 days in a row. In addition, I asked them to listen to 30 bite-sized musical selections I emailed daily. I collected my picks in this blog for posterity. So these are works I find particularly fun, interesting, or important, including a handful by composers who were born or who died in May. Please enjoy!