Australian Haydn Ensemble | Haydn’s Times of Day – Canberra
14 December 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm AEDT
AHE PERFORMS THE MORNING, NOON & NIGHT SYMPHONIES
Once upon a time, if you were sufficiently wealthy, you could stand and halt a performance that impressed you in order to offer the composer a gig for life.
In 1761, thus did Prince Paul-Anton of Esterházy to the 29-year-old Joseph Haydn. Having scooped up the cream of European musicians for his court orchestra, the aristocratic connoisseur was now in need of “content” that would satisfy his tastes, and (even more challenging) keep the musos from getting bored.
The so-called Morning, Noon and Night symphonies were among his first compositions for the Esterházy band. To Haydn, in his brand-new servant’s livery, they were a kind of double audition, and he passed with honours. He flattered his boss (who had asked for a new Four Seasons!) with a charming portrait of palace life from sunup to sundown – replete with singing lessons, servants bustling to serve lunch, a little operatic scene, and a late summer storm. And he flattered his musicians by giving all the principals, even the violone player, the chance to show off their solo skills in the presence of their illustrious patron.
The AHE performed these utterly delightful and quirky works across the course of a whole day at the 2022 Adelaide Festival, to great acclaim. The less time-rich can experience them here in a single wonderful concert, with a fascinating bonus:
The Times of Day were followed by some 70 Esterházy symphonies, in which Haydn and his band single-handedly carved out a new course for the river of musical history. It sadly rolled on past the hundreds of compositions commissioned by the new Prince Nicholas for his favourite instrument, the baryton. By 1800, this viola da gamba/lute hybrid had gone the way of the dodo.
More recently, instrument makers have revived the strange beast from, as it were, fossilized remains, and here the wonderful gamba virtuoso Laura Vaughan gives you the rare chance of hearing its magical sound in a trio, and possibly the first performance of an octet that features it in 250 years.Preview (opens in a new tab)
Skye McIntosh, director & violin
Daniel Yeadon, cello
Laura Vaughan, baryton
The Australian Haydn Ensemble
Symphony No. 6 in D major Le Matin
Symphony No. 7 in C major Le Midi
Selections from Baryton Trio No. 97 in D major
Divertimento à 8 for Baryton, 2 horns & strings No. 1 in D major
Symphony No. 8 in G major Le Soir