Day 11: More Competence

Haydn011Stately. Well ordered. Mature. Competent.

I wish I could muster more enthusiasm for Haydn’s Symphony No. 40 in F.

Alas, I am unable.

This is a very fine symphony. But it’s like a lullaby to me. In fact, if not for the Light Roast I’m chugging I’d have nodded off listening to it this morning.

According to its entry on Wiki, Symphony No. 40 was written before 1763, but its exact date is unknown, which means Haydn could have been about 31, or younger.

By the way, why do I note Haydn’s age at the time of composition?

Haydn2aBecause that’s one way I make concrete something that heretofore (heretofore?) was unknown at worst and nebulous at best. I want to know who Haydn was when he composed these masterpieces (yes, even “competent” symphonies from Haydn are masterpieces in my book). So I place him in historical perspective. Part of that includes giving him an age.

Another part is to note what was going on in America (and the world) at the time this symphony was composed.

In 1763, America had just fought the French and Indian War. Britain issued the Proclamation of 1763, which begins with this: Continue reading