not without hesitation I went with Haydn...
Sure, nobody can touch Mozart operas or wind concertos, but over the last few years Haydn quartets, oratorios and masses have been growing more and more in me while a lot of Mozart warhorses (the big symphonies and piano concertos for example) are all getting mixed up in my head in a blur of prettiness
I like Haydn for his rustic humor, his sense of surprise and his adventuresome spririt. Frankly, a lot of Mozart bores me to death. When you look at the historical development of music, Haydn was far more influential than Mozart, mostly due to his long life and his employment circumstances.
There's a good reason why Haydn is so underrated nowadays; for all the praises he gets from his fans I am not sure if he can counted as a classical giant, or that his music has stood the test of time as well as Mozart or Beethoven.
One of those polls which really is impossible. I maybe prefer Haydn - his music is rational, witty, immaculately crafted, smart, deeply emotional when needed, muscularly propulsive, inventive and innovative. He is one of the great geniuses of music.
However Mozart's emotional ambiguity, subtler harmonies, dramatic instincts, melodicness and sheer beauty of sound are every bit a match for Haydn's greatness. There are times when you listen to Haydn that you think how much better Mozart might have handled a harmony or an orchestration - the moment will slip through Haydn's relatively clumsier hands.
These men are both A+++ geniuses - only my temperament and the amazing sustained originality of Haydn makes me choose him. Another day I could easily have chosen Mozart.
Incidentally as these men were close personal friends, and both had a great influence on each other, it seems almost crass to pit them against each other. Also Mozart's young death, when he was obviously at the top of his game, can only make you wonder where his music would have gone, particularly with Beethoven waiting in the wings to stir things up...
Originally Posted by ksu06 /img/forum/go_quote.gif Generally I like playing Haydn more than Mozart, but for listening, I prefer Mozart ... I'm actually not sure why this is, but oh well ...
Maybe because haydn is more "stiff" and often lacking a little soul, precise kind of in the sense of a swiss watch, making it more satisfying technically to play, whereas mozart is much more musical and (it seems to me) inspired, lending itself more to just wanting to be listened to.
Originally Posted by userlander /img/forum/go_quote.gif Maybe because haydn is more "stiff" and often lacking a little soul, precise kind of in the sense of a swiss watch, making it more satisfying technically to play, whereas mozart is much more musical and (it seems to me) inspired, lending itself more to just wanting to be listened to.
What instrument do you play?
I am a violinist. And yeah, I agree with the sentiment that Haydn is very satisfying to play in the technical sense. Somehow when I see his music on paper, it makes more sense to me, i.e. structurally, rhythmically, and tonally. On the other hand, when I take a first look at Mozart on paper, I usually just pick out the shorter motives, but when I bust out the recording (my teacher is big on giving recordings a good listen before tackling a piece ... arguably why I am a Head-fier!), it's like ooohhhh that's what's going on!
DA is right - Mozart has the Piano Concertos and those are not equaled in Haydn's output. But on the other hand, Haydn's symphonies and string quartets are superior (with a couple of exceptions on individual works).
Part of the problem is that performers always treat (and thus play) Haydn like the fuddy-duddy father of classical, and Mozart as the tragic young genius.
Originally Posted by Tyson /img/forum/go_quote.gif Part of the problem is that performers always treat (and thus play) Haydn like the fuddy-duddy father of classical, and Mozart as the tragic young genius.
one exception may be Harnoncourt: his Paris symphonies and Orlando Paladino recordings are fun, light hearted, and at times plain silly...