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Contents

Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries

THE PERFECT CAREER

Chapter:
CHAPTER 10 Instrumental Music Lifts Off
Source:
MUSIC IN THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

Perhaps the most vivid measure of that synergy of capacity and contingency is the fact that Haydn was (like Handel) what we would now call a self-made man—a very modern sort of hero, the story of whose career reads a bit like an inspirational novel by Horatio Alger. Unlike the Bachs, unlike Mozart, and unlike Beethoven, Haydn was not born into an established musical family. His father was a village wheelwright in southeastern Austria near the border of what was then considered Hungary but is now Croatia. Though a master craftsman, the elder Haydn (unlike Handel’s father, a prosperous surgeon) was neither a highly educated nor a particularly well-to-do man, and there was no way in the world that his son’s future career could have been predicted. Haydn was acutely aware of the distance his talent and good fortune had taken him. To one of his several contemporary biographers, Albert Christoph Dies, the venerable composer offered himself as an inspiration to the young, “who may see from my example that something may indeed come from nothing.”3 And his modern biographer, H. C. Robbins Landon, cast his whole enterprise as an enlargement of that remark, tracing “the life of a boy who began in abject poverty, half-trained and largely self-educated, who rose to be the leading musical figure of Europe by the 1790s and achieved greater popularity in his own lifetime than any composer before him,” becoming in the process the wealthiest of all pre-twentieth-century professional musicians (Handel alone excepted), and an expert courtier, at home in high society and even “gently manipulating Princes of the Holy Roman Empire.”4

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 10 Instrumental Music Lifts Off." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-10006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 10 Instrumental Music Lifts Off. In Oxford University Press, Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries. New York, USA. Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-10006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 10 Instrumental Music Lifts Off." In Music In The Seventeenth And Eighteenth Centuries, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 13 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume2/actrade-9780195384826-div1-10006.xml
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