Part 4 out of 4
his more personal and social relations. It is drawn from the
correspondence with Frau von Genzinger, which was discovered by
Theodor Georg von Karajan, in Vienna, and published first in the
Jahrbuch fur Vaterlandische Geschichte, and afterwards in his J.
Haydn in London, 1791 and 1792 (1861). The translation here used,
by the courtesy of Messrs Longman, is that of Lady Wallace.
The name of Frau von Genzinger has been mentioned more than once
in the biography. Her husband was the Esterhazy physician. In
that capacity he paid frequent visits to Eisenstadt and Esterhaz
(which Haydn spells Estoras) and so became intimate with the
Capellmeister. He was fond of music, and during the long winter
evenings in Vienna was in the habit of assembling the best
artists in his house at Schottenhof, where on Sundays Mozart,
Haydn, Dittersdorf, Albrechtsberger, and others were often to be
found. His wife, Marianne--nee von Kayser--was a good singer, and
was sought after by all the musical circles in Vienna. She was
naturally attracted to Haydn, and although she was nearly forty
years of age when the correspondence opened in 1789, "a personal
connection was gradually developed in the course of their musical
intercourse that eventually touched their hearts and gave rise to
a bright bond of friendship between the lady and the old, though
still youthful, maestro." Some brief extracts from the letters
now to be given have of necessity been worked into the biography.
The correspondence originated in the following note from Frau von
DEAR M. HAYDN,
With your kind permission I take the liberty to send a pianoforte
arrangement of the beautiful adagio in your admirable
composition. I arranged it from the score quite alone, and
without the least help from my master. I beg that, if you should
discover any errors, you will be so good as to correct them. I do
hope that you are in perfect health, and nothing do I wish more
than to see you soon again in Vienna, in order to prove further
my high esteem.
Your obedient servant,
MARIA ANNA V. GENZINGER.
To this Haydn replies as follows:
ESTORAS, Janr. 14, 1789.
In all my previous correspondence, nothing was ever so agreeable
to me as the surprise of seeing your charming writing, and
reading so many kind expressions; but still more did I admire
what you sent me--the admirable arrangement of the adagio, which,
from its correctness, might be engraved at once by any publisher.
I should like to know whether you arranged the adagio from the
score, or whether you gave yourself the amazing trouble of first
putting it into score from the separate parts, and then arranging
it for the piano, for, if the latter, such an attention would be
too flattering to me, and I feel that I really do not deserve it.
Best and kindest Frau v. Genzinger! I only await a hint from you
as to how, and in what way, I can serve you; in the meantime, I
return the adagio, and hope that my talents, poor though they be,
may ensure me some commands from you.
I am yours, etc.,
The next letter is from the lady:
VIENNA, Oct. 29, 1789.
DEAR HERR V. HAYDN,
I hope you duly received my letter of September 15, and also the
first movement of the symphony (the andante of which I sent you
some months ago), and now follows the last movement, which I have
arranged for the piano as well as it was in my power to do; I
only wish that it may please you, and earnestly beg that, if
there are any mistakes in it, you will correct them at your
leisure, a service which I shall always accept from you, my
valued Herr Haydn, with the utmost gratitude. Be so good as to
let me know whether you received my letter of September 15, and
the piece of music, and if it is in accordance with your taste,
which would delight me very much, for I am very uneasy and
concerned lest you should not have got it safely, or not approve
of it. I hope that you are well, which will always be a source
of pleasure to me to hear, and commending myself to your further
friendship and remembrance.
I remain, your devoted friend and servant,
MARIA ANNA V. GENZINGER. nee v. Kayser.
My husband sends you his regards.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
Nov. 9, 1789.
I beg your forgiveness a million times for having so long delayed
returning your laborious and admirable work: the last time my
apartments were cleared out, which occurred just after receiving
your first movement, it was mislaid by my copyist among the mass
of my other music, and only a few days ago I had the good fortune
to find it in an old opera score.
Dearest and kindest Frau v. Genzinger! do not be displeased with
a man who values you so highly; I should be inconsolable if by
the delay I were to lose any of your favour, of which I am so
These two pieces are arranged quite as correctly as the first.
I cannot but admire the trouble and the patience you lavish on my
poor talents; and allow me to assure you in return that, in my
frequent evil moods, nothing cheers me so much as the flattering
conviction that I am kindly remembered by you; for which favour
I kiss your hands a thousand times, and am, with sincere esteem,
your obedient servant,
P.S.--I shall soon claim permission to wait on you.
The next letter is again from Frau v. Genzinger:
VIENNA, Nov. 12, 1789.
MY VALUED HERR V. HAYDN,
I really cannot tell you all the pleasure I felt in reading your
highly-prized letter of the 9th. How well am I rewarded for my
trouble by seeing your satisfaction! Nothing do I wish more
ardently than to have more time (now so absorbed by household
affairs), for in that case I would certainly devote many hours
to music, my most agreeable and favourite of all occupations.
You must not, my dear Herr v. Haydn, take it amiss that I plague
you with another letter, but I could not but take advantage of
so good an opportunity to inform you of the safe arrival of your
letter. I look forward with the utmost pleasure to the happy day
when I am to see you in Vienna. Pray continue to give me a place
in your friendship and remembrance.
Your sincere and devoted friend and servant.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, Nov. 18, 1789.
The letter which I received through Herr Siebert gave me another
proof of your excellent heart, as instead of a rebuke for my late
remissness, you express yourself in so friendly a manner towards
me, that so much indulgence, kindness and great courtesy cause me
the utmost surprise, and I kiss your hands in return a thousand
times. If my poor talents enable me to respond in any degree to
so much that is flattering, I venture, dear madam, to offer you
a little musical potpourri. I do not, indeed, find in it much
that is fragrant; perhaps the publisher may rectify the fault
in future editions. If the arrangement of the symphony in it
be yours, oh! then I shall be twice as much pleased with the
publisher; if not, I venture to ask you to arrange a symphony,
and to transcribe it with your own hand, and to send it to me
here, when I will at once forward it to my publisher at Leipzig
to be engraved.
I am happy to have found an opportunity that leads me to hope
for a few more charming lines from you.
I am, etc.,
Shortly after the date of this letter Hadyn was again in Vienna,
when the musical evenings at Schottenhof were renewed. The Herr
v. Haring referred to in the following note is doubtless the
musical banker, well known as a violinist in the Vienna of the
To Frau v. Genzinger.
Jan. 23, 1790.
DEAR, KIND FRAU V. GENZINGER,
I beg to inform you that all arrangements are now completed for
the little quartet party that we agreed to have next Friday. Herr
v. Haring esteemed himself very fortunate in being able to be of
use to me on this occasion, and the more so when I told him of
all the attention I had received from you, and your other merits.
What I care about is a little approval. Pray don't forget to
invite the Pater Professor. Meanwhile, I kiss your hands, and am,
with profound respect, yours, etc.,
A call to return to Esterhaz put an end to these delights of
personal intercourse, as will be gathered from the following
To Frau v. Genzinger.
Feb. 3, 1790.
NOBLEST AND KINDEST LADY,
However flattering the last invitation you gave me yesterday to
spend this evening with you, I feel with deep regret that I am
even unable to express to you personally my sincere thanks for
all your past kindness. Bitterly as I deplore this, with equal
truth do I fervently wish you, not only on this evening, but ever
and always, the most agreeable social "reunions"--mine are all
over--and to-morrow I return to dreary solitude! May God only
grant me health; but I fear the contrary, being far from well
to-day. May the Almighty preserve you, dear lady, and your worthy
husband, and all your beautiful children. Once more I kiss your
hands, and am unchangeably while life lasts, yours, etc.,
The next letter was written six days later, evidently in the most
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, Feb. 9, 1790.
MUCH ESTEEMED AND KINDEST FRAU V. GENZINGER,--
Well! here I sit in my wilderness; forsaken, like some poor
orphan, almost without human society; melancholy, dwelling on the
memory of past glorious days. Yes; past, alas! And who can tell
when these happy hours may return? those charming meetings? where
the whole circle have but one heart and one soul--all those
delightful musical evenings, which can only be remembered, and
not described. Where are all those inspired moments? All gone--and
gone for long. You must not be surprised, dear lady, that I have
delayed writing to express my gratitude. I found everything at
home in confusion; for three days I did not know whether I was
capell master, or capell servant; nothing could console me; my
apartments were all in confusion; my pianoforte, that I formerly
loved so dearly, was perverse and disobedient, and rather
irritated than soothed me. I slept very little, and even my
dreams persecuted me, for, while asleep, I was under the pleasant
delusion that I was listening to the opera of "Le Nozze di
Figaro," when the blustering north wind woke me, and almost blew
my nightcap off my head.
[The portion of the letter deleted is that given at page 161,
beginning, "I lost twenty pounds in weight."]
...Forgive me, dear lady, for taking up your time in this very
first letter by so wretched a scrawl, and such stupid nonsense;
you must forgive a man spoilt by the Viennese. Now, however,
I begin to accustom myself by degrees to country life, and
yesterday I studied for the first time, and somewhat in the
Haydn style too.
No doubt, you have been more industrious than myself. The
pleasing adagio from the quartet has probably now received its
true expression from your fair fingers. I trust that my good
Fraulein Peperl [Joseph A., one of the Genzinger children.] may
be frequently reminded of her master, by often singing over the
cantata, and that she will pay particular attention to distinct
articulation and correct vocalization, for it would be a sin if
so fine a voice were to remain imprisoned in the breast. I beg,
therefore, for a frequent smile, or else I shall be much vexed.
I advise M. Francois [Franz, author of the Genzinger children.]
too to cultivate his musical talents. Even if he sings in his
dressing-gown, it will do well enough, and I will often write
something new to encourage him. I again kiss your hands in
gratitude for all the kindness you have shown me. I am, etc.,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, March 14, 1790.
MOST VALUED, ESTEEMED AND KINDEST FRAU V. GENZINGER,
I ask forgiveness a million times for having so long delayed
answering your two charming letters, which has not been caused
by negligence (a sin from which may Heaven preserve me so long as
I live), but from the press of business which has devolved on me
for my gracious Prince, in his present melancholy condition. The
death of his wife overwhelmed the Prince with such grief that we
were obliged to use every means in our power to rouse him from
his profound sorrow. I therefore arranged for the three first
days a selection of chamber music, but no singing. The poor
Prince, however, the first evening, on hearing my favourite
Adagio in D, was affected by such deep melancholy that it was
difficult to disperse it by other pieces. On the fourth day we
had an opera, the fifth a comedy, and then our theatre daily
You must now permit me to kiss your hands gratefully for the
rusks you sent me, which, however, I did not receive till last
Tuesday; but they came exactly at the right moment, having just
finished the last of the others. That my favourite "Ariadne" has
been successful at Schottenhof is delightful news to me, but I
recommend Fraulein Peperl to articulate the words clearly,
especially in the words "Che tanto amai." I also take the liberty
of wishing you all possible good on your approaching nameday,
begging you to continue your favour towards me, and to consider
me on every occasion as your own, though unworthy, master. I must
also mention that the teacher of languages can come here any day,
and his journey will be paid. He can travel either by the
diligence or by some other conveyance, which can always be heard
of in the Madschaker Hof. As I feel sure, dear lady, that you
take an interest in all that concerns me (far greater than I
deserve), I must inform you that last week I received a present
of a handsome gold snuff-box, the weight of thirty-four ducats,
from Prince Oetting v. Wallerstein, accompanied by an invitation
to pay him a visit this year, the Prince defraying my expenses,
His Highness being desirous to make my personal acquaintance
(a pleasing fillip to my depressed spirits). Whether I shall
make up my mind to the journey is another question.
I beg you will excuse this hasty scrawl.
I am always, etc.,
P.S.--I have just lost my faithful coachman; he died on the
25th of last month.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, May 13, 1790.
BEST AND KINDEST FRAU V. GENZINGER,
I was quite surprised, on receiving your esteemed letter, to find
that you had not yet got my last letter, in which I mentioned
that our landlord had accepted the services of a French teacher,
who came by chance to Estoras, and I also made my excuses both
to you and your tutor on that account. My highly esteemed
benefactress, this is not the first time that some of my letters
and of others also have been lost, inasmuch as our letter bag,
on its way to Oedenburg (in order to have letters put into it),
is always opened by the steward there, which has frequently been
the cause of mistake and other disagreeable occurrences. For
greater security, however, and to defeat such disgraceful curiosity,
I will henceforth enclose all my letters in a separate envelope to
the porter, Herr Pointer. This trick annoys me the more because you
might justly reproach me with procrastination, from which may Heaven
defend me! At all events, the prying person, whether male or female,
cannot, either in this last letter or in any of the others, have
discovered anything in the least inconsistent with propriety. And
now, my esteemed patroness, when am I to have the inexpressible
happiness of seeing you in Estoras? As business does not admit of
my going to Vienna, I console myself by the hope of kissing your
hands here this summer. In which pleasing hope, I am, with high
consideration, etc., yours,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, May 30, 1790.
KINDEST AND BEST FRAU V. GENZINGER,
I was at Oedenburg when I received your last welcome letter,
having gone there on purpose to enquire about the lost letter.
The steward there vowed by all that was holy that he had seen no
letter at that time in my writing, so that it must have been lost
in Estoras! Be this as it may, such curiosity can do me no harm,
far less yourself, as the whole contents of the letter were an
account of my opera "La Vera Costanza," performed in the new
theatre in the Landstrasse, and about the French teacher who was
to have come at that time to Estoras. You need, therefore, be
under no uneasiness, dear lady, either as regards the past or the
future, for my friendship and esteem for you (tender as they are)
can never become reprehensible, having always before my eyes
respect for your elevated virtues, which not only I, but all
who know you, must reverence. Do not let this deter you from
consoling me sometimes by your agreeable letters, as they are so
highly necessary to cheer me in this wilderness, and to soothe
my deeply wounded heart. Oh! that I could be with you, dear lady,
even for one quarter of an hour, to pour forth all my sorrows,
and to receive comfort from you. I am obliged to submit to many
vexations from our official managers here, which, however, I
shall at present pass over in silence. The sole consolation left
me is that I am, thank God, well, and eagerly disposed to work. I
only regret that, with this inclination, you have waited so long
for the promised symphony. On this occasion it really proceeds
from absolute necessity, arising from my circumstances, and the
raised prices of everything. I trust, therefore, that you will
not be displeased with your Haydn, who, often as his Prince
absents himself from Estoras, never can obtain leave, even for
four-and-twenty hours, to go to Vienna. It is scarcely credible,
and yet the refusal is always couched in such polite terms, and
in such a manner, as to render it utterly impossible for me to
urge my request for leave of absence. Well, as God pleases! This
time also will pass away, and the day, return when I shall again
have the inexpressible pleasure of being seated beside you at the
pianoforte, hearing Mozart's masterpieces, and kissing your hands
from gratitude for so much pleasure. With this hope, I am, etc.,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, June 6, 1790.
DEAR AND ESTEEMED LADY,
I heartily regret that you were so long in receiving my last
letter. But the previous week no messenger was despatched from
Estoras, so it was not my fault that the letter reached you so
Between ourselves! I must inform you that Mademoiselle Nanette
has commissioned me to compose a new sonata for you, to be given
into your hands alone. I esteem myself fortunate in having
received such a command. You will receive the sonata in a
fortnight at latest. Mademoiselle Nanette promised me payment
for the work, but you can easily imagine that on no account would
I accept it. For me the best reward will always be to hear that
I have in some degree met with your approval. I am, etc.,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, June 20, 1790.
DEAR, KIND FRIEND,
I take the liberty of sending you a new pianoforte sonata with
violin or flute, not as anything at all remarkable, but as a
trifling resource in case of any great ennui. I only beg that
you will have it copied out as soon as possible, and then return
it to me. The day before yesterday I presented to Mademoiselle
Nanette the sonata commanded by her. I had hoped she would
express a wish to hear me play it, but I have not yet received
any order to that effect; I, therefore, do not know whether you
will receive it by this post or not. The sonata is in E flat,
newly written, and always intended for you. It is strange enough
that the final movement of this sonata contains the very same
minuet and trio that you asked me for in your last letter. This
identical work was destined for you last year, and I have only
written a new adagio since then, which I strongly recommend to
your attention. It has a deep signification which I will analyze
for you when opportunity offers. It is rather difficult, but full
of feeling. What a pity that you have not one of Schanz's pianos,
for then you could produce twice the effect!
N.B.--Mademoiselle Nanette must know nothing of the sonata being
already half written before I received her commands, for this
might suggest notions with regard to me that I might find most
prejudicial, and I must be very careful not to lose her favour.
In the meanwhile I consider myself fortunate to be the means of
giving her pleasure, particularly as the sacrifice is made for
your sake, my charming Frau v. Genzinger. Oh! how I do wish that
I could only play over these sonatas once or twice to you; how
gladly would I then reconcile myself to remain for a time in my
wilderness! I have much to say and to confess to you, from which
no one but yourself can absolve me; but what cannot be effected
now will, I devoutly hope, come to pass next winter, and half of
the time is already gone. Meanwhile I take refuge in patience,
and am content with the inestimable privilege of subscribing
myself your sincere and obedient friend and servant
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, June 27, 1790.
HIGHLY ESTEEMED LADY,
You have no doubt by this time received the new pianoforte sonata,
and, if not, you will probably do so along with this letter.
Three days ago I played the sonata to Mademoiselle Nanette in the
presence of my gracious Prince. At first I doubted very much,
owing to its difficulty, whether I should receive any applause,
but was soon convinced of the reverse by a gold snuff-box being
presented to me by Mademoiselle Nanette's own hand. My sole wish
now is, that you may be satisfied with it, so that I may find
greater credit with my patroness. For the same reason, I beg that
either you or your husband will let her know "that my delight was
such that I could not conceal her generosity," especially being
convinced that you take an interest in all benefits conferred on
me. It is a pity that you have not a Schanz pianoforte, which is
much more favourable to expression; my idea is that you should
make over your own still very tolerable piano to Fraulein Peperl,
and get a new one for yourself. Your beautiful hands, and their
brilliant execution, deserve this, and more. I know that I ought
to have composed the sonata in accordance with the capabilities
of your piano, but, being so unaccustomed to this, I found it
impossible, and now I am doomed to stay at home. What I lose by
so doing you can well imagine: It is indeed sad always to be a
slave--but Providence wills it so. I am a poor creature, plagued
perpetually by hard work, and with few hours for recreation.
Friends? What do I say? One true friend; there are no longer any
true friends, but one female friend. Oh yes! no doubt I still have
one, but she is far away. Ah well! I take refuge in my thoughts.
May God bless her, and may she never forget me! Meanwhile I kiss
your hands a thousand times, and ever am, etc.,
Pray forgive my bad writing. I am suffering from inflamed eyes
To Frau v. Genzinger.
ESTORAS, July 4, 1790.
MOST ESTEEMED AND VALUED LADY,
I this moment receive your letter, and at the same time the post
departs. I sincerely rejoice to hear that my Prince intends to
present you with a new piano, more especially as I am in some
measure the cause of this, having been constantly imploring
Mademoiselle Nanette to persuade your husband to purchase one for
you. The choice now depends entirely on yourself, and the chief
point is that you should select one in accordance with your
touch and your taste. Certainly my friend, Herr Walter, is very
celebrated, and every year I receive the greatest civility from
him; but, entre nous, and to speak candidly, sometimes there is
not more than one out of ten of his instruments which may be
called really good, and they are exceedingly high priced besides.
I know Herr Nickl's piano; it is first-rate, but too heavy for
your touch; nor can every passage be rendered with proper
delicacy on it. I should, therefore, like you to try one of Herr
Schanz's pianos, for they have a remarkably light and agreeable
touch. A good pianoforte is absolutely necessary for you, and my
sonata will also gain vastly by it.
Meanwhile I thank you much, dear lady, for your caution with
regard to Mademoiselle Nanette. It is a pity that the little gold
box she gave me, and had used herself, is tarnished, but perhaps
I may get it polished up in Vienna. I have as yet received no
orders to purchase a pianoforte. I fear that one may be sent to
your house, which may be handsome outside, but the touch within
heavy. If your husband will rely on my opinion, that Herr Schanz
is the best maker for this class of instruments, I would then
settle everything at once. In great haste, yours, etc.,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
Estoras, August 15.
I ought to have written to you last week in answer to your
letter, but as this day has been long enshrined in my heart, I
have been striving earnestly all the time to think how and what I
was to wish for you; so thus eight days passed, and now, when my
wishes ought to be expressed, my small amount of intellect comes
to a standstill, and (quite abashed) I find nothing to say; why?
wherefore? because I have not been able to fulfill those musical
hopes for this particular day that you have justly the right to
expect. Oh, my most charming and kind benefactress! if you could
only know, or see into my troubled heart on this subject, you
would certainly feel pity and indulgence for me. The unlucky
promised symphony has haunted my imagination ever since it
was bespoken, and it is only, alas! the pressure of urgent
occurrences that has prevented its being hitherto ushered into
the world! The hope, however, of your lenity towards me for the
delay, and the approaching time of the fulfillment of my promise,
embolden me to express my wish, which, among the hundreds offered
to you to-day and yesterday, may perhaps appear to you only an
insignificant interloper; I say perhaps, for it would be too bold
in me to think that you could form no better wish for yourself
than mine. You see, therefore, most kind and charming lady, that
I can wish nothing for you on your nameday, because my wishes are
too feeble, and therefore unproductive. As for me, I venture to
wish for myself your kind indulgence, and the continuance of your
friendship, and the goodness that I so highly prize. This is my
warmest wish! But if any wish of mine may be permitted, then
mine shall become identical with your own, for thus I shall feel
assured that none other remains, except the wish once more to be
allowed to subscribe myself your very sincere friend and servant,
No further letters appear to have been addressed to the lady
until Haydn started on his first visit to London in December
1790. One or two extracts from these London letters have been
used in Chapter V., but as the repetitions will be very slight,
we allow the letters to stand as they are.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
CALAIS, Decr. 31, 1790.
HIGHLY HONOURED LADY,
A violent storm and an incessant pour of rain prevented our
arriving at Calais till this evening (where I am now writing to
you), and to-morrow at seven in the morning we cross the sea to
London. I promised to write from Brussels, but we could only
stay there an hour. I am very well, thank God! although somewhat
thinner, owing to fatigue, irregular sleep, and eating and
drinking so many different things. A few days hence I will
describe the rest of my journey, but I must beg you to excuse
me for to-day. I hope to heaven that you and your husband and
children are all well.
I am, with high esteem, etc., yours,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Jan. 8, 1791.
I thought that you had received my last letter from Calais. I
ought, indeed, according to my promise, to have sent you some
tidings of myself when I arrived in London, but I preferred
waiting a few days that I might detail various incidents to you.
I must now tell you that on New Year's Day, after attending early
mass, I took ship at half-past seven o'clock a.m., and at five
o'clock in the afternoon arrived safe and well at Dover, for
which Heaven be praised! During the first four hours there was
scarcely any wind, and the vessel made so little way that in
that time we only went one English mile, there being twenty-four
between Calais and Dover. The ship's captain, in the worst
possible humour, said that if the wind did not change we should
be at sea all night. Fortunately, however, towards half-past
eleven o'clock such a favourable breeze began to blow that by
four o'clock we had come twenty-two miles. As the ebb of the
tide prevented our large vessel making the pier, two small boats
were rowed out to meet us, into which we and our luggage were
transferred, and at last we landed safely, though exposed to a
sharp gale. The large vessel stood out to sea five hours longer,
till the tide carried it into the harbour. Some of the
passengers, being afraid to trust themselves in the small boats,
stayed on board, but I followed the example of the greater
number. I remained on deck during the whole passage, in order to
gaze my fill at that huge monster, the Ocean. So long as there
was a calm I had no fears, but when at length a violent wind
began to blow, rising every minute, and I saw the boisterous high
waves running on, I was seized with a little alarm, and a little
indisposition likewise. But I overcame it all, and arrived safely
in harbour, without being actually ill. Most of the passengers
were ill, and looked like ghosts. I did not feel the fatigue of
the journey till I arrived in London, but it took two days before
I could recover from it. But now I am quite fresh and well, and
occupied in looking at this mighty and vast town of London,
its various beauties and marvels causing me the most profound
astonishment. I immediately paid the necessary visits, such as
to the Neapolitan Minister and to our own. Both called on me in
return two days afterwards, and a few days ago I dined with the
former--nota bene, at six o'clock in the evening, which is the
My arrival caused a great sensation through the whole city, and
I went the round of all the newspapers for three successive days.
Everyone seems anxious to know me. I have already dined out six
times, and could be invited every day if I chose; but I must in
the first place consider my health, and in the next my work.
Except the nobility, I admit no visitors till two o'clock in the
afternoon, and at four o'clock I dine at home with Salomon. I
have a neat, comfortable lodging, but very dear. My landlord is
an Italian, and likewise a cook, who gives us four excellent
dishes; we each pay one florin thirty kreuzers a day, exclusive
of wine and beer, but everything is terribly dear here. I was
yesterday invited to a grand amateur concert, but as I arrived
rather late, when I gave my ticket, they would not let me in, but
took me to an ante-room, where I was obliged to remain till the
piece which was then being given was over. Then they opened the
door, and I was conducted, leaning on the arm of the director,
up the centre of the room to the front of the orchestra amid
universal clapping of hands, stared at by everyone, and greeted
by a number of English compliments. I was assured that such
honours had not been conferred on anyone for fifty years. After
the concert I was taken into a very handsome room adjoining,
where tables were laid for all the amateurs, to the number of two
hundred. It was proposed that I should take a seat near the top,
but as it so happened that I had dined out that very day, and ate
more than usual, I declined the honour, excusing myself under the
pretext of not being very well; but in spite of this, I could
not get off drinking the health, in Burgundy, of the harmonious
gentlemen present; all responded to it, but at last allowed me to
go home. All this, my dear lady, was very flattering to me; still
I wish I could fly for a time to Vienna, to have more peace to
work, for the noise in the streets, and the cries of the common
people selling their wares, is intolerable. I am still working at
symphonies, as the libretto of the opera is not yet decided on,
but in order to be more quiet, I intend to engage an apartment
some little way out of town. I would gladly write more at length,
but I fear losing this opportunity. With kindest regards to your
husband, Fraulein Pepi, and all the rest, I am, with sincere
P.S.--I have a request to make. I think I must have left my
symphony in E flat, that you returned to me, in my room at home,
or mislaid it on the journey. I missed it yesterday, and being
in pressing need of it, I beg you urgently to procure it for me,
through my kind friend, Herr v. Kees. Pray have it copied out in
your own house, and send it by post as soon as possible. If Herr
v. Kees hesitates about this, which I don't think likely, pray
send him this letter. My address is, M. Haydn, 18 Great Pulteney
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Sept. 17, 1791.
MY HIGHLY ESTEEMED FRIEND,
I have received no reply to my two letters of July 3, entrusted
to the care of a composer, Herr Diettenhofer, by whom I likewise
sent the pianoforte arrangement of an andante in one of my new
symphonies. Nor have I any answer either about the symphony in
E flat, that I wished to get. I can now no longer delay inquiring
after your own health, as well as that of your husband, and all
your dear family. Is that odious proverb, "Out of sight, out of
mind," to prove true everywhere? Oh no! urgent affairs or the
loss of my letter and the symphony are, no doubt, the cause of
your silence. I feel assured of Herr von Kees's willingness to
send the symphony, as he said he would do so in his letter; so
it seems we shall both have to deplore a loss, and must trust to
Providence. I flatter myself I shall receive a short answer to
this. Now, my dear, good, kind lady, what is your piano about?
Is a thought of Haydn sometimes recalled by your fair hand? Does
my sweet Fraulein Pepi ever sing poor "Ariadne"? Oh yes! I seem
to hear it even here, especially during the last two months, when
I have been residing in the country, amid lovely scenery, with a
banker, whose heart and family resemble the Genzingers, and where
I live as in a monastery. God be praised! I am in good health,
with the exception of my usual rheumatic state. I work hard, and
in the early mornings, when I walk in the wood alone with my
English grammar, I think of my Creator, of my family, and of all
the friends I have left--and of these you are the most valued of
I had hoped, indeed, sooner to have enjoyed the felicity of
seeing you again; but my circumstances, in short, fate so wills
it that I must remain eight or ten months longer in London. Oh,
my dear, good lady, how sweet is some degree of liberty! I had
a kind Prince, but was obliged at times to be dependent on base
souls. I often sighed for release, and now I have it in some
measure. I am quite sensible of this benefit, though my mind is
burdened with more work. The consciousness of being no longer a
bond-servant sweetens all my toils. But, dear as liberty is to
me, I do hope on my return again to enter the service of Prince
Esterhazy, solely for the sake of my poor family. I doubt much
whether I shall find this desire realized, for in his letter my
Prince complains of my long absence, and exacts my speedy return
in the most absolute terms; which, however, I cannot comply with,
owing to a new contract I have entered into here. I, alas! expect
my dismissal; but I hope even in that case that God will be
gracious to me, and enable me in some degree to remedy the loss
by my own industry. Meanwhile I console myself by the hope of
soon hearing from you. You shall receive my promised new symphony
two months hence; but in order to inspire me with good ideas,
I beg you will write to me, and a long letter too.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Oct. 13, 1791.
I take the liberty of earnestly entreating you to advance 150
florins for a short time to my wife, provided you do not imagine
that since my journey I have become a bad manager. No, my kind,
good friend, God blesses my efforts. Three circumstances are
alone to blame. In the first place, since I have been here, I
have repaid my Prince the 450 florins he advanced for my journey;
secondly, I can demand no interest from my bank obligations,
having placed them under your care, and not being able to
remember either the names or the numbers, so I cannot write a
receipt; thirdly, I cannot yet apply for the 5883 florins (1000
of which I recently placed in my Prince's hands, and the rest
with the Count v. Fries), especially because it is English money.
You will, therefore, see that I am no spendthrift. This leads me
to hope that you will not refuse my present request, to lend my
wife 150 florins. This letter must be your security, and would be
valid in any court. I will repay the interest of the money with
a thousand thanks on my return.
I am, etc.,
...I believe you received my letter the very same day that I was
reading your cruel reproach that Haydn was capable of forgetting
his friend and benefactress. Oh! how often do I long to be beside
you at the piano, even for a quarter of an hour, and then to have
some good German soup. But we cannot have everything in this
world. May God only vouchsafe to grant me the health that I have
hitherto enjoyed, and may I preserve it by good conduct and out
of gratitude to the Almighty! That you are well is to me the most
delightful of all news. May Providence long watch over you! I
hope to see you in the course of six months, when I shall,
indeed, have much to tell you. Good-night! it is time to go to
bed; it is half-past eleven o'clock. One thing more. To insure
the safety of the money, Herr Hamberger, a good friend of mine,
a man of tall stature, our landlord, will bring you this letter
himself, and you can with impunity entrust him with the money;
but I beg you will take a receipt both from him and from my wife.
Among other things, Herr v. Kees writes to me that he should like
to know my position in London, as there are so many different
reports about me in Vienna. From my youth upwards I have been
exposed to envy, so it does not surprise me when any attempt is
made wholly to crush my poor talents; but the Almighty above is
my support. My wife wrote to me that Mozart depreciates me very
much, but this I will never believe. If true, I forgive him.
There is no doubt that I find many who are envious of me in
London also, and I know them almost all. Most of them are
Italians. But they can do me no harm, for my credit with this
nation has been firmly established far too many years. Rest
assured that, if I had not met with a kind reception, I would
long since have gone back to Vienna. I am beloved and esteemed
by everyone, except, indeed, professors [of music]. As for my
remuneration, Mozart can apply to Count Fries for information,
in whose hands I placed 500 pounds, and 1000 guilders in those
of my Prince, making together nearly 6000 florins. I daily thank
my Creator for this boon, and I have good hope that I may bring
home a couple of thousands besides, notwithstanding, my great
outlay and the cost of the journey. I will now no longer intrude
on your time. How badly this is written! What is Pater --- doing?
My compliments to him.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Nov. 17, 1791.
I write in the greatest haste, to request that you will send the
accompanying packet, addressed to you, to Herr v. Kees, as it
contains the two new symphonies I promised. I waited for a
good opportunity, but could hear of none; I have therefore been
obliged to send them after all by post. I beg you will ask Herr
v. Kees to have a rehearsal of both these symphonies, as they
are very delicate, particularly the last movement in D, which I
recommend to be given as pianissimo as possible, and the tempo
very quick. I will write to you again in a few days. Nota bene,
I was obliged to enclose both the symphonies to you, not knowing
the address of Herr v. Kees.
I am, etc.
P.S.--I only returned here to-day from the country. I have been
staying with a mylord for the last fortnight, a hundred miles
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Dec. 20, 1791.
I am much surprised that you did not get my letter at the same
time as the two symphonies, having put them myself into the post
here, and given every direction about them. My mistake was not
having enclosed the letter in the packet. This is what often
happens, dear lady, with those who have too much head work. I
trust, however, that the letter reached you soon afterwards, but
in case it did not, I must here explain that both symphonies were
intended for Herr v. Kees, but with the stipulation that, after
being copied by his order, the scores were to be given up to you,
so that you may prepare a pianoforte arrangement of them, if you
are so disposed. The particular symphony intended for you will be
finished by the end of February at latest. I regret much having
been obliged to forward the heavy packet to you, from not knowing
Herr v. Kees's address; but he will, of course, repay you the
cost of postage, and also, I hope, hand you over seven ducats.
May I, therefore, ask you to employ a portion of that sum in
copying on small paper my often-applied-for symphony in E minor,
and forward it to me by post as soon as possible, for it may
perhaps be six months before a courier is despatched from Vienna,
and I am in urgent need of the symphony. Further, I must plague
you once more by asking you to buy at Artaria's my last
pianoforte sonata in A flat, that is, with 4 B flat minor, with
violin and violoncello, and also another piece, the fantasia in
C, without accompaniment, for these pieces are not yet published
in London; but be so good as not to mention this to Herr Artaria,
or he might anticipate the sale in England. I beg you will deduct
the price from the seven ducats. To return to the aforesaid
symphonies, I must tell you that I sent you a pianoforte
arrangement of the andante in C minor by Herr Diettenhofer. It is
reported here, however, that he either died on the journey, or
met with some serious accident. You had better look over both
pieces at your leisure. The principal part of the letter I
entrusted to Herr Diettenhofer was the description of a Doctor's
degree being conferred on me at Oxford, and all the honours I
then received. I must take this opportunity of mentioning that
three weeks ago the Prince of Wales invited me to his brother's
country seat. The Prince presented me to the Duchess (a daughter
of the King of Prussia), who received me very graciously, and
said many flattering things. She is the most charming lady in the
world, possesses much intelligence, plays the piano, and sings
very pleasingly. I stayed two days there, because on the first
day a slight indisposition prevented her having any music; on the
second day, however, she remained beside me from ten o'clock at
night, when the music began, till two hours after midnight. No
compositions played but Haydn's. I directed the symphonies at the
piano. The sweet little lady sat close beside me at my left hand,
and hummed all the pieces from memory, having heard them so
repeatedly in Berlin. The Prince of Wales sat on my right hand,
and accompanied me very tolerably on the violoncello. They made
me sing too. The Prince of Wales is having me painted just now,
and the portrait is to be hung up in his private sitting-room.
The Prince of Wales is the handsomest man on God's earth; he has
an extraordinary love of music, and a great deal of feeling, but
very little money. Nota bene, this is entre nous. His kindness
gratifies me far more than any self-interest; on the third day,
as I could not get any post-horses, the Duke of York sent me
two stages with his own.
Now, dear lady, I should like to reproach you a little for
believing that I prefer London to Vienna, and find my residence
here more agreeable than in my fatherland. I am far from hating
London, but I could not reconcile myself to spend my life there;
no, not even to amass millions; my reasons I will tell you when
we meet. I think of my home, and embracing once more all my old
friends, with the delight of a child; only I deeply lament that
the great Mozart will not be of the number, if it be true, which
I trust it is not, that he is dead. Posterity will not see such
talent as his for the next hundred years! I am happy to hear that
you and yours are all so well. I, too, have hitherto been in
excellent health, till eight days since, when I was attacked by
English rheumatism, and so severely that sometimes I could not
help crying out aloud; but I hope soon to get quit of it, as I
have adopted the usual custom here, and have wrapped myself up
from head to foot in flannel. Pray excuse my bad writing. In the
hope of soon being gratified by a letter, and with all esteem
for yourself, and best regards to your husband, my dear Fraulein
Pepi, and the others.
I am, etc.,
P.S.--Pray give my respects to Herr v. Kreybich [chamber music
director to Joseph II].
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Jan. 17, 1792.
DEAREST AND KINDEST LADY,
I must ask your forgiveness a thousand times; and I own and
bemoan that I have been too dilatory in the performance of my
promise, but if you could only see how I am importuned to attend
private concerts, causing me great loss of time, and the mass of
work with which I am burdened, you would indeed, dear lady, feel
the utmost compassion for me. Never in my life did I write so
much in one year as during the last, which has indeed utterly
exhausted me, and it will do me good to be able to take a little
rest when I return home. At present I am working for Salomon's
concerts, and feel bound to take all possible trouble, for our
rivals of the Professional Society have sent for my pupil Pleyel
from Strassburg, to direct their concerts. So a bloody harmonious
war will now commence between master and scholar. All the
newspapers have begun to discuss the subject, but I think an
alliance will soon ensue, my reputation here being so firmly
established. Pleyel, on his arrival, displayed so much modesty
towards me that he gained my goodwill afresh. We are very often
together, which is much to his credit, and he knows how to
appreciate his "father"; we will share our laurels fairly, and
each go home satisfied. Professional Concerts met with a great
misfortune on the 14th of this month, by the Pantheon being
entirely burned down, a theatre only built last year. It was the
work of an incendiary, and the damage is estimated at more than
100,000 pounds sterling; so there is not a single Italian theatre
in London at this moment. Now, my dear angelic lady, I have a
little fault to find with you. How often have I reiterated my
request to have my symphony in E minor, of which I sent you the
theme, copied out on small paper, and sent to me by post? Long
have I sighed for it, and if I do not get it by the end of next
month I shall lose twenty guineas. Herr v. Kees writes that the
copy may possibly arrive in London three months hence, or three
years, for there is no chance of a courier being sent off at
present. I also told Herr v. Kees in the same letter to take
charge of this, and if he could not do so, I ventured to transfer
the commission to you, flattering myself that my urgent request
would certainly be fulfilled by your kindness. I also desired
Herr v. Kees to repay you the cost of the postage you paid for
his packet. Kindest and most charming Frau v. Genzinger, I once
more beg you to see to this matter, for it is really a work of
mercy, and when we meet I will explain my reasons, respectfully
kiss your fair hands, and repay my debt with gratitude. The
celebration you mention in honour of my poor abilities touched me
deeply, but still not so profoundly as if you had considered it
more perfect. Perhaps I may supply this imperfection by another
symphony which I will shortly send you; I say perhaps, because
I (or rather my brain) am in truth weary. Providence alone can
repair the deficiency in my powers, and to Him I daily pray for
aid, for without His support I should indeed be a poor creature!
And now, my kind and dear friend, I venture to hope for your
indulgence. Oh yes! your portrait is at this moment before me,
and I hear it say, "Well, for this time, you odious Haydn, I will
forgive you, but--but!" No, no, I mean henceforth strictly to
fulfill my duties. I must conclude for to-day by saying that now,
as ever, I am, with the highest esteem, yours, etc.,
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, Feb. 2, 1792.
I have to-day received your kind letter, and also the fantasia,
and sonata a tre. I was, however, rather vexed, on opening the
packet, not to find the long-looked-for symphony in E minor,
which I had fully hoped for, and expected. Dear lady, I entreat
you to send it at once, written on small post paper, and I will
gladly pay all expenses, for Heaven alone can tell when the
symphonies from Brussels may arrive here. I cannot dispense with
this one, without incurring great loss. Pray forgive my plaguing
you so often on the subject, but I shall indeed be truly grateful
if you will send it. Being overwhelmed with work at present, I
cannot as yet write to Herr v. Kees. Pray, then, apply to him
yourself for the said symphony.
With my kind respects, I am, yours, etc.,
You shall have a good portion of the sewing needles.
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, March 2, 1792.
Yesterday morning I received your valued letter, and also the
long-looked-for symphony. I humbly kiss your hands for sending
it so safely and quickly. I had indeed received it six days
previously from Brussels, through Herr v. Kees; but the score
was more useful, as a good deal must be altered in it to suit
the English taste. I only regret that I must trouble you so
frequently with my commissions, especially as at present I cannot
adequately testify my gratitude. I do positively assure and
declare to you that this causes me great embarrassment, and
indeed often makes me feel very sad; the more so that, owing to
various urgent causes, I am unable to send you as yet the new
symphony dedicated to you. First, because I wish to alter and
embellish the last movement, which is too feeble when compared
with the first. I felt this conviction myself quite as much as
the public, when it was performed for the first time last Friday;
notwithstanding which, it made the most profound impression on
the audience. The second reason is that I really dread the risk
of its falling into other hands. I was not a little startled when
I read the unpleasant intelligence about the sonata. By Heavens!
I would rather have lost twenty-five ducats than have suffered
such a theft, and the only one who can have done this is my own
copyist; but I fervently hope to supply the loss through Madame
Tost, for I do not wish to incur any reproaches from her. You
must therefore, dear lady, be indulgent towards me, until I can
towards the end of July myself have the pleasure of placing in
your hands the sonata, as well as the symphony. Nota bene, the
symphony is to be given by myself, but the sonata by Madame Tost.
It is equally impossible for me to send Herr v. Kees the promised
symphonies at present, for here too there is a great want of
faithful copyists. If I had time, I would write them out myself,
but no day, not a single one, am I free from work, and I shall
thank the good Lord when I can leave London; the sooner the
better. My labours are augmented by the arrival of my pupil
Pleyel, who has been summoned here by the Professional Society
to direct their concerts. He brought with him a number of new
compositions, which were, however, written long ago! He
accordingly promised to give a new piece every evening. On seeing
this, I could easily perceive that there was a dead set against
me, so I also announced publicly that I would likewise give
twelve different new pieces; so in order to keep my promise, and
to support poor Salomon, I must be the victim, and work
perpetually. I do feel it, however, very much. My eyes suffer
most, and my nights are very sleepless, but with God's help I
will overcome it all. The Professors wished to put a spoke in my
wheel because I did not join their concerts, but the public is
just. Last year I received great applause, but this year still
more. Pleyel's presumption is everywhere criticized, and yet I
love him, and have gone to his concert each time, and been the
first to applaud him. I sincerely rejoice that you and yours
are well. My kind regards to all. The time draws near to put my
trunks in travelling order. Oh! how delighted shall I be to see
you again, and to show personally all the esteem that I felt for
you in absence, and that I ever shall feel for you.
P.S.--Please apologize to Herr v. Kees for want of time
preventing my sending him the new symphonies. I hope to have
the honour of directing them myself in your house, at our next
To Frau v. Genzinger.
LONDON, April 24, 1792.
I yesterday evening received with much pleasure your last letter
of 5 April, with the extract from the newspaper, extolling my
poor talents to the Viennese. I must confess that I have gained
considerable credit with the English in vocal music, by this
little chorus, [The "Storm Chorus," see p. 91.] my first attempt
with English words. It is only to be regretted that, during my
stay here, I have not been able to write more pieces of a similar
nature, but we could not find any boys to sing at our concerts,
they having been already engaged for a year past to sing at other
concerts, of which there are a vast number. In spite of the great
opposition of my musical enemies, who are so bitter against me,
more especially leaving nothing undone with my pupil Pleyel this
winter to humble me, still, thank God! I may say that I have kept
the upper hand. I must, however, admit that I am quite wearied
and worn out with so much work, and look forward with eager
longing to the repose which will soon take pity on me. I thank
you, dear lady, for your kind solicitude about me. Just as you
thought, I do not require to go to Paris at present, from a
variety of reasons, which I will tell you when we meet. I am in
daily expectation of an order from my Prince, to whom I wrote
lately, to tell me where I am to go. It is possible that he may
summon me to Frankfort; if not, I intend (entre nous) to go by
Holland to the King of Prussia at Berlin, thence to Leipzig,
Dresden, Prague, and last of all to Vienna, where I hope to
embrace all my friends.
Ever, with high esteem, etc.,
*********END OF "HAYDN," FROM THE MASTER MUSICIAN SERIES*********
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS E-TEXT EDITION
The preceding is the text of "Haydn," a biography of the composer
Franz Joseph Haydn, from the Master Musicians series. The book
itself was authored by J. Cuthbert Hadden, while the Master
Musicians series itself was edited by Frederick J. Crowest.
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