Day 98: White Out

HaydnCD98I like to put things in context.

Take these Haydn string quartets, for example.

They were composed in 1790. Haydn was 58. Two days from now, on January 8th, in the same year Haydn composed Op. 64 string quartets, George Washington, America’s first President, will deliver the first State of the Union address. (See the article here.)

501px-Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_WashingtonThat bears repeating. Forty-eight hours from now, albeit two-hundred twenty-four years ago, George Washington will speak to the fledgling United States for the first time to tell us how things are going. At that time, America consisted of 13 states. And things were probably going fine.

Today, America is 50 states (depending on whom you ask) and our State of the Union is in sorry shape, indeed.

BenFranklinDuplessisAlso, in the same year Haydn composed Op. 64, Benjamin Franklin (one of the Founding Fathers of America) died.

A lot has changed in two and a half centuries. Yet, here I am listening to music compose before George Washington first addressed America. Remarkable, wouldn’t you say?

I wonder what the weather was like on this day in 1790.

I can tell you this much: The weather is frightening now. The worst snow and cold we’ve experienced in decades. So I’ve been listening to Haydn at home lately. Doesn’t pay to risk my life to drive to Panera just for one of their bagels and, maybe if the gods are smiling, a cup of their Light Roast coffee.

For more background on Haydn’s Op. 64, please see yesterday’s post.

I’m not sure why, but Continue reading