“Why Haydn?” by Calvin R. Stapert

EerdWord

Calvin R. Stapert is professor emeritus of music at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and author of the new book Playing Before the Lord: The Life and Work of Joseph Haydn.

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“Why a book on Haydn?”

I’ve been asked this question many times and by many different people since I began work on Playing Before the Lord.

Some who asked, especially if they knew my pre-modern inclinations, perhaps wondered why I was wandering into modernity. Most, however, were probably wondering why I hadn’t chosen Mozart, or Beethoven, or Brahms, or . . .

If I were going to write about one of the giants of “classical” music, they wondered, why choose Haydn? Isn’t he somewhat of a light weight— less worthy, less important, less interesting than so many other famous composers?

Such thinking isn’t new. It’s an inheritance from the 19th century, when…

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