Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/723

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HAYDN.
711
 

with every possible mark of respect and attention, he says in his diary, 'Mrs. Shaw is the most beautiful woman I ever saw'; and when quite an old man still preserved a ribbon which she had worn during his visit, and on which his name was embroidered in gold.

The directors of the Professional Concerts had been for some time endeavouring to make Haydn break his engagements with Salomon and Gallini. Not succeeding, they invited his pupil Ignaz Pleyel, from Strassburg. to conduct their concerts; but far from showing any symptoms of rivalry or hostility, master and pupil continued the best of friends, and took every opportunity of displaying their attachment. The Professionals were first in the field, as their opening concert took place on Feb. 15, 1792, while Salomon's series did not begin till the 17th. Gyrowetz was associated with Haydn as composer for the year, and his works were as much approbated here as in Paris. At these concerts Haydn produced symphonies, divertimenti for concerted instruments, a notturno for the same, string quartets, a clavier trio, airs, a cantata, and the 'Storm' chorus already mentioned.[1] He was also in great request at concerts, and conducted those of Barthelemon (with whom he formed a close friendship), Haesler the pianist, Mme. Mara (who sang at his benefit), and many others. Besides his own annual benefit Salomon gave 'by desire' an extra concert on June 6. when he played several violin solos, and when Haydn's favourite compositions were 'received with an extasy of admiration.' 'Thus,' to quote the Morning Chronicle, 'Salomon finished his season on Wednesday night with the greatest éclat.' The concerts over, he made excursions to Windsor Castle, Ascot Races, and Slough, where he stayed with Herschel, of whose domestic life he gives a particular description in his diary. The only son, afterwards Sir John Herschel, was then a few months old. He went also to the meeting of the Charity Children in St. Paul's Cathedral, and was deeply moved by the singing. 'I was more touched,' says he in his diary, 'by this innocent and reverent music than by any I ever beard in my life.' The somewhat commonplace double chant by Jones the organist, is quoted in his diary. [See Jones.]

Amongst Haydn's intimate associates in this year were Bartolozzi the engraver, to whose wife he dedicated 3 Clavier trios and a sonata[2] in C, and John Hunter the surgeon (who begged in vain to be allowed to remove a polypus in the nose which he had inherited from his mother), and whose wife wrote the words for most of his 12 English canzonets—the first set dedicated to her; the second to Lady Charlotte Bertie. But the dearest of all his friends was Mrs. Schroeter, a lady of good birth, and widow of the Queen's music-master, John Samuel Schroeter, who died Nov. 1, 1788. She took lessons from him on the pianoforte, and a warm feeling of esteem and respect sprang up between them, which on her side ripened into a passionate attachment. Haydn's affections must also have been involved, for in his old age he said once, pointing to a packet of her letters, 'Those are from an English widow who fell in love with me. She was a very attractive woman and still handsome, though over sixty; and had I been free I should certainly have married her.' Haydn dedicated to Mrs. Schroeter three Clavier-Trios (Breitkopf & Härtel, Nos. 1, 2, 6). In the 2nd (F♯ minor) he adapted the Adagio from the Salomon-symphony, No. 9 (B♭), probably a favourite of the lady's. A second of his London admirers deserves mention. Among his papers is a short piece with a note saying that it was 'by Mrs. Hodges, the loveliest woman I ever saw, and a great pianoforte player. Both words and music are hers,' and then follows a P.S. in the trembling hand of his latest life, 'Requiescat in pace! J. Haydn.'[3]

During his absence his wife had had the offer of a small house and garden in the suburbs of Vienna (Windmühle, 73 kleine Steingasse, now 19 Haydngasse, then a retired spot in the 4th district of the Mariahilf suburb), and she wrote asking him to send her the money for it, as it would be just the house for her when she became a widow. He did not send the money, but on his return to Vienna bought it, added a storey, and lived there from Jan. 1797 till his death.

Haydn left London towards the end of June 1792, and travelling by way of Bonn—where Beethoven asked his opinion of a cantata, and Frankfort—where he met Prince Anton at the coronation of the Emperor Francis II, reached Vienna at the end of July. His reception was enthusiastic, and all were eager to hear his London symphonies. In Dec. 1792 Beethoven came to him for instruction, and continued to take lessons until Haydn's second journey to England. The relations of these two great men have been much misrepresented. That Haydn had not in any way forfeited Beethoven's respect is evident, as he spoke highly of him whenever opportunity offered, usually chose one of Haydn's themes when improvising in public, scored one of his [4]quartets for his own use, and carefully preserved the autograph of one of the English symphonies.[5] But whatever Beethoven's early feeling may have been, all doubts as to his latest sentiments are set at rest by his exclamation on his death-bed on seeing a view of Haydn's birthplace, sent to him by Diabelli 'To think that so great a man should have been born in a common peasant's cottage!' [See Beethoven, p. 199 b.]

Again invited by Salomon, under special stipulation, to compose 6 new symphonies, Haydn started on his second journey on Jan. 19,

  1. This his first composition to English words, became very popular as an Offertorium in churches. Scores and parts, Breitkopf, Simrock, etc.
  2. This sonata, published by H. Caulfield, has never been printed in Germany. Haydn's remark on it was, 'Not yet to be printed.' The Adagio only, in F, is often reprinted separately by Holle, Peters, etc. It is given entire by Sterndale Bennett in his 'Classical Practice.'
  3. See Pohl's 'Haydn in London.' 218–233.
  4. Trautwein, score No. 20; Beethoven's MS. is in the possession of Artaria. See the Sale Catalogue, No. 112, given in Thayer, 'Chronologisches Verzeichniss,' p. 177.
  5. No. 4. B♭, sold among Beethoven's remains—Sale Catalogue, No. 189.