In the Friday (5/29) edition of The Guardian (London), pianist Andras Schiff makes an impassioned defense of Haydn, citing in particular the composer’s humor and musical style. Schiff discusses the merits of Haydn’s works for keyboard in the article, as well as the symphonies, which he feels are often not properly placed on concert programs. “Haydn’s 104 symphonies are widely admired, although only a handful are regularly performed, and when they are, they are invariably placed at the beginning of programmes. This is a pity. Audiences, at the start of concerts, do not really listen to the music. They need to be warmed up—just as the players do—and so Haydn’s wonderful ideas are not fully appreciated. Why don’t we hear these symphonies at the end of the programme? Or indeed, what’s wrong with concert of nothing but Haydn symphonies?” Schiff’s remarks in The Guardian were translated and edited from a version that appeared in the May edition of the German-language publication Fono Forum.

Posted May 29, 2009