Day 118: Andy Griffith, Larry, Coffee, and Home

HaydnCD118Another change of venue this morning: my home.

As an episode of The Andy Griffith Show plays in the background (because there’s always background noise when I’m at Panera), Larry (our cat) reposes on the floor near me, and a cup of fresh-brewed Morning Blend coffee sits strategically positioned less than an arm’s length away on the table beside me, I listen to today’s selection of Haydn’s Baryton Trios, to wit:

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 46 in A

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 47 in G

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 48 in D (my #2 favorite today)

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 49 in G (my #1 favorite today)

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 50 in D

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 51 in A

Haydn Baryton Trio No. 52 in D

LarryFloorIt’s still dark outside. And chilly inside. (Maybe that’s why Larry is curled into a tight ball.)

But the coffee is good.

The smell from the Bob Evans sausages grilling on the stove (I’m making breakfast for my still-sleep better half) is enticing.

The music is surprisingly compelling.

And I am motivated today (for various reasons) to write my ass off.

Life is good.

Maybe I’m onto something.

These baryton trios aren’t dramatically different from the ones to which I’ve been listening all along. Yet, somehow, today, they Continue reading

Day 43: Big

HaydnCD43There’s an exchange in an early episode of The Andy Griffith Show in which Barney tells Andy about something “big” happening in Mayberry.

“Oh, this is big Andy, big big, really big, biggest thing ever happened in Mayberry,” he says.

After a bit of banter, Andy says something like, “There’s only one word to describe it — big.”

That’s how I describe Missa Sanctae Caeciliae in C HOB XXII:5: big.

So big, in fact, that the running time for Haydn CD 43 is an hour and 10 minutes. Just for this one mass.

There’s not really much else I can say about it. Its entry on Wikipedia does a good job of providing pertinent details:

[It] was originally written in 1766, after Haydn was promoted to Kapellmeister at Eszterháza following the death of Gregor Joseph Werner. The original title as it appears on the only surviving fragment of Haydn’s autograph score, that has been discovered around 1970 in Budapest, clearly assigns the mass to the pilgrimage cult of Mariazell, Styria. Until that discovery, the work was formerly known as Missa Sanctae Caeciliae, or in German Cäcilienmesse, a title probably attributed to the mass in the 19th century. Whether the alternative title refers to a performance of the piece by the St. Cecilia’s Congregation, a Viennese musician’s fraternity, on some St. Cecilia’s day (22 November), as has been suggested, remains speculation.

It is believed that the original manuscript was lost in the Eisenstadt fire of 1768, and that when Haydn rewrote the piece from memory, he may also have expanded it. It may have originally consisted of only Kyrie and Gloria, with the other parts added later. This Mass was known to Anton Bruckner.

Haydn was 34 in 1766. Who knows how old he was when he supposedly rewrote it from memory?

What I do know is that this is a very fine mass, with noteworthy performances by soprano Krisztina Laki, tenor Aldo Baldin, and the Kammerchor Stuttgart (chamber choir).

If you’d like to hear what I’m listening to this morning, click on the YouTube clip below. It’s the exact same performance.

I’m sure after you finish you’ll only have one word to describe this 70-minute composition.

Big.