It can be difficult, when reviewing the life of a man of affairs, to follow all the threads of the various goings-on at a given time. 1789 presents several opportunities to go astray, since musically we have ongoing business from the past mixed with new opportunities in the present. Then, there are non-musical affairs too, related to a (finally!) broadening personal life in Vienna. Now we have a good opportunity to see just how wide the network of music publishing has been spread.
[To JOHANN TRAEG*, VIENNA. in German] (Letter 1)
Estoras, 8th March 1789.
Well born, Most highly respected Sir!
This is to inform you that the new pianoforte Sonata which Herr Breitkopf** requested shall be finished by the coming week. You will therefore be good enough to let me know to whom I should address the sonata, and who shall pay me the 10 ducats upon delivery of the same. I hope to receive a satisfactory reply and am, most respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
Josephus Haydn [m.p] ria.
Capell Meister von Fürst Esterhazy.
P.S.: You need only leave your letter at the porter's in the Prince's mansion; a carriage leaves almost daily.
* TRAEG, one of Vienna's busiest copyists; he later became a music publisher.
** CHRISTOPH GOTTLOB BREITKOPF had made a journey to Austria in the autumn of 1786, and had intended to visit Haydn in Eszterháza; the composer happened to come to Vienna in December, however, and Breitkopf met him there. On 10 January 1789, Breitkopf wrote a letter to Haydn. The letter no longer exists, but we can quote a summary of it. Breitkopf writes that "he would like to have a new pianoforte Sonata, one which has never before been printed, to include in a collection of various pieces of music which he [Breitkopf] is putting together. As a recommendation for the whole undertaking, he would like to have an original composition by Haydn, even if it is only one movement. Haydn can choose his own fee, and the Sonata must be in his hands by March at the latest, because he intends to start the publication in that month ... He asks if Haydn would not do him the honor of giving his firm other compositions, and if so, would [Haydn] not write six pianoforte Sonatas; he can choose his own fee for these works, too." Haydn chose the Sonata No. 48 in C which, however, he could not send until 5th April (see letter, infra). The Sonata was published as the first number of "Musikalischer Pot-Pourri". In all these dealings, Traeg acted as the go-between.
[To CHRISTOPH GOTTLOB BREITKOPF, LEIPZIG. in German] (Letter 2)
Estoras, 5th April 1789.
Well born, Most highly respected Sir !
Through Herr Traeg I am sending you the new pianoforte Sonata, fully hoping that it will meet with the musical world's approbation. I have received the 10 # [ducats] in good order, for which I thank you. As for the other demands in your letter, I cannot accommodate you because I am simply overloaded with work. I would only ask for a clean engraving, and that you send me a few copies. Meanwhile I remain, most respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
P.S.: I would ask you at your convenience to send me a few English engravings, but beautiful ones, for I am a great admirer of them; I shall repay you gratefully by something of my work.
[To JEAN-GEORGES SIEBER, PARIS. in German] (Letter 3)
Estoras, 27th July 1789.
[snip] [I agree] to compose [the Symphonies], and this present letter should serve to protect your interests in any court. On the other hand, I beg you to convince Herr Tost as well, and in order to deprive him of all his other claims to these 4 Symphonies, please send me your authentic signature of contract so that my interests are protected. Thus you are protected for your part, and I am for mine, while Herr Tost will be reduced to silence for ever. I hope to receive the favour of an early reply. Meanwhile I am, most respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
[To JEAN-GEORGES SIEBER, PARIS. in German] (Letter 4)
Estoras, 28th August 1789.
Monsieur! [Abbreviated translation]
Since I am now quite certain that the four Symphonies which I am to compose are for you, I shall make every possible effort to furnish them as soon as possible, and will send them one after another as they are completed. You need have no doubts as to the care I shall take, for I never forget either my honor or my reputation. N.B. I want one of the four Symphonies to be entitled the "National" Symphony. . . .
[To ARTARIA & Co., VIENNA. German] (Letter 5)
Estoras, I5th November 1789.
Well born, Most highly respected Sir!
Since you have often shown me various kindnesses, and since I really am your debtor, you may be assured that at all times you shall have the preference for my works. I have various new pieces which I shall tell you about when and this will be soon I arrive in Vienna.
Last week Mr. Bland, an Englishman, was here to see me and wanted to purchase various pieces from me; but on your account he did not receive a single note. Hoping to see you soon, I am, Sir, most respectfully,
Your wholly obedient servant,
Occasionally, and much against my own inclinations, I have been forced to discuss events ahead of their time in order to not leave things undone and forgotten. Much of Haydn's doings in 1789, his last full year in Eszterháza, have to do with things already discussed, such as the hunt for Symphonies 88 and 89, the commissioning of symphonies 90-92, and the quartets which eventually became Opus 54/55. And while these items did, indeed, occupy Haydn for much of the year, by no means did this leave room for nothing else! I don't know if there is any reason to dwell on these things again, except to clarify their effects on other events. Lord knows, it is getting confusing enough; I imagine how Haydn must have felt!
These five letters certainly don't tell everything there is to know about the musical dealings of the year. We are, however, brought to realize there are at least five publishers in Haydn's life. In fact, there are two or three more, but no correspondence has come to light from this year. When we earlier discussed some of Haydn's more outrageous dealings, it is easier to understand how this could happen when you see how many people are involved, and know they are highly competitive, thus they don't get together and compare notes very often!
We have Robbins-Landon's footnote to Letter 1 to thank for clarifying the relationship between Haydn and yet another publisher, Breitkopf of what would one day be Breitkopf & Härtel. It will be a pleasure to hear Haydn writing a solo keyboard work after an hiatus of nearly ten years. We also meet Johann Traeg for the first time. He will have a much more extensive relationship with Beethoven in the future, but for now it is interesting to know that one of Haydn's main publishers in the 1790's was one of his copyists in the 1780's.
In addition to Breitkopf and Traeg, though, Haydn will be meeting yet another new publisher this year, the Englishman John Bland, who went well out of his way to solicit works from Haydn by coming all the way to Vienna to do so! We first hear about him in Letter 5, where Haydn is shamelessly using him as a pawn in a game of manipulating Artaria. Maybe the sting of giving up Opp. 54/55 isn't quite gone away yet! Haydn's first works for Bland won't appear until the beginning of next year, though, and so we will leave him for the future.
The affaire Tost continues, and we get to see some interesting things from Paris. Whatever got Haydn onto the concept of four symphonies for Sieber, he has now talked both himself and Sieber into it, and in fact got a written contract to write them, specifically intended to freeze out any subsequent claim by Tost (letter 4). I am totally intrigued by the idea of the National Symphony (in Letter 4), and wonder what it would have become if actually composed. National symphonies became all the rage in post-Revolutionary Paris, and are mainly known as a product of the bloom of 'nationalism' which erupted in early 19th century Europe. A "national symphony" in 1789 would have made of Haydn a pioneer (yet again) in the genre. I would really love to know what was going through his mind as he wrote those words, but as far as I know, this is the only mention of the topic, so we never will.
This only touches the surface of the relationship with professional publishers, and doesn't even get around to where we left off last year with the three new symphonies for Comte d'Ogny and Prince von Oettingen! We'll see the rest of that story play out this year too.
Those who know the story of Mozart's last years are familiar with most of the characters involved. One of the more prominent, for sadder reasons, is Michael Puchberg, a prominent Viennese textile merchant and fellow Freemason in Mozart's lodge. Mozart's famous 'begging letters', used so often over the years to demonstrate his dire straits, were addressed to Puchberg. As well, some famous works were dedicated to him, such as the Divertimento for String Trio (K 563). Given the view usually painted of him, it is well to remember he was a friend before and after he was a creditor. And apparently Haydn knew him too, either through the Masonic connection, or through attendance at salons or simply from Mozart's sitting room.
Since Mozart was on the road earlier in the year, from early April to early June, traveling to Prague, Dresden, Potsdam and Leipzig in hopes of gaining commissions, and Haydn was at Eszterháza throughout the year, it was not until December they were able to resume their friendship. Landon tells us about an invitation to Haydn and Puchberg to come to Mozart's house and hear him play through Così fan tutte in piano score! This would have been in December, since they were further invited to the orchestral rehearsals in January, 1790, in preparation for the première. There is so little documentation for these various meetings, nearly all of our information comes from 'I was there' publications from third parties. Yet there is no reason to doubt they occurred, and probably far more often than there is any knowledge of.
But Haydn did establish another relationship this year, one which began with a letter from a lady who, it turns out, was the wife of the Prince's physician, Peter Leopold Genzinger. There is no record of how and where they met, it is difficult to see the two of them simply milling about as the doctor called on the Prince. They must have met at some salon or soirée in Vienna, highly likely since the Genzinger's hosted a popular salon with first-class music. It would have been a likely place for Haydn to end up.
† † †
[To HAYDN FROM MARIA ANNA GENZINGER. in German]
Most respected Herr v. Hayden,
With your kind permission, I take the liberty of sending you a pianoforte arrangement of the beautiful Andante from your so admirable composition. I made this arrangement from the score quite by myself, without the least help from my teacher; please be good enough to correct any mistakes you may find in it. I hope that you are enjoying perfect health, and I wish for nothing more than to see you soon again in Vienna, so that I may demonstrate still further the esteem in which I hold you. I remain, in true friendship,
Your obedient servant,
Maria Anna Noble von Gennzinger
née Noble von Kayser.
My husband and children also ask me to send you their kindest regards.
Vienna, 10th June 1789.
[To MARIA ANNA VON GENZINGER, VIENNA. German]
Nobly born and gracious Lady !
In all my previous correspondence, nothing delighted me more than the surprise of seeing such a lovely handwriting, and reading so many kind expressions; but even more I admired the enclosure the excellent arrangement of the Adagio, which is correct enough to be engraved by any publisher. I would like to know only whether Your Grace arranged the Adagio from the score, or whether you took the amazing trouble of first putting it into score from the parts and only then arranging it for the pianoforte; if the latter, such an attention would be too flattering to me, for I really don't deserve it.
Best and kindest Frau v. Gennsinger ! [sic] I only await a hint from you as to how and in what fashion I can possibly be of service to Your Grace. Meanwhile I return the Adagio, and very much hope to receive from Your Grace some demands on my modest talents;
I am, with sincere esteem and respect,
Your Grace's most obedient servant,
Josephus Haydn [m.p] ria.
Estoras, 14th June 1789.
N.S. Please present my respectful compliments to your husband.
By late in the year, the relationship had developed into genuine friendship. Despite various intimations to the contrary, there is no reason, beyond our human fascination with such things, to suppose it ever became an affaire du coeurs. Next year we will see more of Marianne, as she remained very close to Haydn for the rest of her life. For now, we only know that by December, when he returned to Vienna, he attended the Sunday salons at the Genzinger home. According to Karl Geiringer (A Creative Life in Music);
Both the doctor and his charming wife, Marianne, an excellent singer and pianist, were real friends of music. On Sundays, the musical elite of Vienna used to assemble at the Genzinger's home for performances of the first quality. Haydn attended these gatherings whenever he was in Vienna, and they meant a great deal to him. There he found an atmosphere that seemed like the fulfillment of his old dreams: a comfortable, pleasant home; a woman of high culture who took the keenest interest in every one of his new compositions and who at the same time was so thoughtful a hostess that she prepared his favorite dishes; musically gifted children whom he could guide. The Genzinger home offered him all that he had missed throughout his married life. He basked in this congenial atmosphere, only to feel all the more strongly the misery of his lonely existence when he returned to Eszterháza.
Next year we will see more about Marianne, including the brilliant sonata Haydn composed for her (Hob 49). For now, though, we have run out of year, time to look at the music of 1789.
Thanks for reading!