Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/719

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HAYDN.
707
 

and a 'Salve Regina.' In 1775 followed his first oratorio, 'Il Ritorno di Tobia,' which was performed in Vienna by the Tonkünstler Societät, with solo-singers from Esterház, and repeated in 1784 with two additional choruses.[1] To this period belong 4 Masses (2 small ones of an early late have been lost)—in G (1772); in C, 'Cäciliemnesse'; in E♭, with organ obbligato; and in B♭, with organ solo (Nos. 7, 5, 12, and 8 in Novello's edition). The last is a small but particularly charming work, and, like the first, isstill often heard; but that in E♭ is old-fashioned. The 'Cäcilienmesse' has many fugues, and is seldom performed on account of its length. (Novello's edition is taken from Breitkopf's curtailed score.)

In 1773 the Empress Maria Theresa visited Esterház from Sept. 1 to 3, and was entertained with performances of a new symphony of Haydn's—now known by her name (p. 721 b)—his opera 'L'Infedeltá delusa,' and 'Philemon und Baucis,' a marionette piece, which especially pleased her. One song and the overture,—or 'symphony'—in 2 movements, have survived. Similar festivities took place on various occasions—a visit from one of the Imperial family, or an event in the Prince's own circle. Even Eisenstadt gave a glimpse of its old splendour when the Prince de Rohan, French Ambassador, stayed there in 1772.

In 1776 Haydn composed 'La vera Costanza,' for the court-theatre of Vienna. The intrigues against it were however too strong, and eventually Anfossi's opera of the same name was preferred. Haydn withdrew his score, and produced it at Esterház. It was revived in 1790 at the theatre then in the Landstrasse suburb of Vienna, and Artaria engraved six of the airs and a duet. In 1778 the Tonkünstler Societät offered Haydn a strange affront. He wished to join the society, and had already paid his deposit, when he was asked to sign an agreement binding him to furnish compositions of importance whenever so required. He naturally declined, and withdrew his money. No reparation was made for this indignity till after his return from London in 1797, when he was introduced at a special meeting by Counts Kufstein and Johann Esterhazy, and, amid general acclamation, appointed 'Assessor senior' for life. This compliment he acknowledged by presenting the society with the 'Creation' and the 'Seasons,' to which gifts its prosperity is mainly owing. 'L'Isola disabitata,' one of his best operas, composed in 1779 to a libretto by Metastasio, procured Haydn's nomination as a member of the Accademia Filarmonica at Modena. He sent the score to the King of Spain, and received in return a gold snuff-box et in brilliants. The opera was performed at the court-theatre in Vienna, at a concert given by Willmann the cellist in 1785.

On Nov. 18, 1779, the theatre at Esterház was burnt down, and during the rebuilding the Prince went to Paris. This interval will enable us to mention the origin of the famous 'Farewell Symphony.' It has been often asserted that Haydn intended it as an appeal to the Prince against the dismissal of the chapel, but this is incorrect; the real object was to persuade him to shorten his stay at Esterház, and so enable the musicians to rejoin their wives and families. As one after another stopped playing and left the orchestra, until only two violins were left (Tomasini, the Prince's favourite, being one), the hint was unmistakable. 'If all go,' said the Prince, 'we may as well go too'; and Haydn knew that his object was attained.[2]

This seems also the place to speak of a subject closely affecting Haydn's private life. In 1779 a couple named Polzelli were admitted into the chapel—the husband, Anton, being an indifferent violinist, and the wife, Luigia, by birth a Roman of tho name of Moreschi, a second-rate singer. For the latter Haydn conceived a violent affection, which she returned by shamefully abusing his kindness and continually importuning him for money, and even extracting from him a written promise that if his wife died he would marry no one but her. This paper he afterwards repudiated, but he left her a small annuity in his will. Before his death she had been married a second time, to an Italian singer, and died at Kaschau in 1832.[3] Mme. Polzelli had two sons, of whom the elder died in 1796, while the younger entered the chapel, and eventually became its music-director. He was a pupil of Haydn's, and was popularly supposed to be his son, but the fact is doubtful. Haydn was certainly very fond of him; but he left him only a small sum in his first will, and revoked it in the second.[4]

On Oct. 15, 1780, the beautiful new theatre at Esterház was opened with 'La Fedeltá premlata.' This opera was twice represented in Vienna in 1784, once in the presence of the Emperor Joseph, Haydn himself conducting. From 1780 dates his acquaintance with Artaria—the commencement of a business connexion of many years' duration. Tho first works which Artaria published for him were 6 Clavier sonatas (op. 30), his first 12 Lieder, 6 Quartets ('die Russischen'), 6 Divertissements in 8 parts (op. 31), and 6 Symphonies (op. 51 and 52): In 1781–82 the Emperor Joseph received two visits from the Grand Duke Paul and his wife. Great entertainments were given in their honour, consisting chiefly of musical performances, for which the Grand Duchess had a great taste.[5] Gluck's operas were given at the theatre, and some of Haydn's quartets played at her own house, so much to her satisfaction, that she gave htm a diamond snuff-box, and took lessons from him. Haydn seems to have retained a pleasant recollection of her, for

  1. 'Tobia' was rearranged by Neukomm in 1808. and performed at the Tonkünstler Societät concerts.
  2. The Symphony was published in parts by Sieber (No. 14); a new edition by Simrock (37); in score by Le Duc (9); and for 4 hands Trautwein (28). André's edition is the Finale only, transposed into E minor.
  3. Fétis says that her death, 1790, induced Haydn particularly to go to London!
  4. Polzelli's two daughters are still living at Pesth.
  5. She was present at the well-known competition between Clementi and Mozart.