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Haydn's Solar Poetics: Morning, Noon & Night pictures

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Haydn's Solar Poetics: Morning, Noon & Night description

The top minds of Europe were abuzz in 1761. Venus was transiting the sun for the first time since science had twigged that it could pinpoint our place in the solar system. Meanwhile, the most enlightened of Austria’s ruling families needed a composer to provide what we’d call content for their pre-eminent orchestra. It was a dream gig in some respects: yes, you had to wear servants’ livery but you got to live in a palace. Your bosses were no fools though - they could spot hackery a mile off - and even scarier were the musos' demands.

The 29-year-old Joseph Haydn was not only up for it, he kept the job for over 30 years, producing music of astonishing quality and quantity. The so-called Morning, Noon and Night symphonies were the first of some 80 that were written for the Esterházy band. They are utterly delightful and quirky (flattering even the double bass player with solo passages), and contain cryptic allusions to the astronomical excitement of the time. Our world-renowned Australian Haydn Ensemble, directed from the keyboard by Erin Helyard, will present them in three concerts, appropriately spread across a single day.

They’ll also offer a glimpse of what else was going on in that eventful year: Bach’s eldest son C.P.E. was writing jaw-droppingly audacious symphonies, while in Salzburg a five-year-old wunderkind was jotting down his first piano pieces. You will be struck by the fascinating lineage between three generations of musical genius. 

All too rarely heard Haydn keyboard concertos and works by the teenaged Mozart make these programs a delicious brunch, lunch and dinner degustation. No reheated stodge here. Served with verve, fresh from the minds of the masters.

PROGRAM 1: Morning, 10am

C.P.E. Bach: Sinfonia in e minor Wq.178
Mozart: Keyboard piece: Keyboard Piece K.1
Haydn: Keyboard Concerto in G Major Hob.XVIII:4
Haydn: Symphony in D Major Hob.I:6 Le Matin

PROGRAM 2: Noon, 12:30pm

C.P.E. Bach: Sinfonia in F Major Wq.181
Mozart: Keyboard pieces: Keyboard Piece K.2-5
Haydn: Keyboard Concerto in F Major Hob.XVIII:3
Haydn: Symphony in C Major Hob.I:7 Le Midi

PROGRAM 3: Night, 5pm

C.P.E. Bach: Sinfonia in C Major Wq.182/3
Mozart: Divertimento in F Major K.138
Haydn: Symphony in G Major Hob.I:8 Le Soir
Haydn: Keyboard Concerto in D Major Hob.XVIII:11

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