Mike McCaffrey, known for years in various Internet Classical Music forums as Gurn Blanston, amateur music listener, historian, book and recording collector and passionate fan of the music of Joseph Haydn (1732 - 1809), one of the premier composers of the Classical Era.
After many years of listening to classical music in a general way, I realized that what I really wanted from my listening experience was to acquire more than basic knowledge about my favorite composers. That quest led me to discover in very short order that, unlike other great composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, Haydn was virtually an unknown quantity, at least in what was readily discoverable by the non-musicologist.
Musicologists are a splendid breed; highly trained, masters of their own jargon, and initiated at university into the "publish or perish" world of academia. For the layman, the unfortunate result is that the books and essays that they produce are written solely for each other, not for you and me.
My intention in this series of essays is to condense what I have gathered from my collection of books, essays and liner notes, and to present it here in an easily readable and understandable format. I don't mean 'dumbed down', but rather, with the jargon removed, but with as much meat on the bones as I can manage to retain. I hope that you, as a Haydn fan yourself, will enjoy the reading, and also take away some useful information. No one knows better than I do how frustratingly difficult this can be! And if you have happened across this blog as a relative stranger to the music of Joseph Haydn, and your interest is piqued enough to download a symphony or string quartet, then I trust that the music will speak for itself and that a convert will be made. There is little more I can ask for than that!
Finally, if you have comments or specific questions, please use the comment form to ask or post. All comments are moderated, in these days of SPAM that is a necessity. But I would love to dialog with present or future Haydn aficionados.
Thanks for checking me out,