May 31, 2015
It is said that Haydn (who died on this day in 1809) was a gentle, considerate, well-respected and generous person: this probably explains why he’s been for so long considered a second fiddle to Mozart’s genius, despite the fact that the transition from Baroque to Beethoven would have probably never happened so soon without him, and also why his generosity went as far as promoting Mozart’s work (his friend and his junior by 25 years) instead of his own.
He was famous enough in his lifetime, honoured and well-liked by all but still chose a life of quiet and introspective isolation:
There was no-one there to confine me, so I was forced to become original.
I suspect that it was this gentleness of manners that led to the one misguided decision in his life: frustrated by the love of his life becoming a nun, he made the mistake of marrying her sister, a person with no relationship to music and no notion of her husband’s work and whose letters he never even opened.
He was generous to a fault even after his death: it was Mozart’s Requiem that was played at his funeral.
Here’s a lazy Sunday sunrise as an hommage to generosity. Open the windows and play it loud: