Preston Radio Episode 2 – Haydn

Hello all,

Welcome to the sequel of my least popular blog post ever – Preston Radio.  My blog last week was so unpopular I even lost a follower on Twitter after she basically dismissed virtually the entire musical world of classical music as an ear bleeding waste of time, when compared to hip hop, et al – and took the time to tell me that.  So, back to the ear bleeding.

This week, it’s the music of Haydn that I am injecting into the recovery from another Manic Monday.  I really adore the music of many of the superstar composers, such as Beethoven, Mahler, Brahms, Rachmaninov and the like – but I keep returning to the music of Haydn because it appeals to my personality – part serious, part cheeky, part uproarious, part forlock tugging.

I’ll start with a work I had to learn for my 8th Grade AMEB exam – and still is one of my favourite pieces of music.  Here is the beautiful, moving 2nd Movement – the Adagio, followed by the very cheeky and jokey 3rd Movement.

The second is a classic case of shop floor union activism – the Farewell Symphony. Haydn wrote most of his music whilst being the inhouse composer for the Esterházy family and that family also had a court orchestra – pretty cool, really.  There was an occasion, however, when Haydn and his players had been stuck at the Summer Palace a bit too long, so Haydn wrote the last movement of his 45th Symphony as a subtle message – let the players go home.  So, in the symphony, he had the players leave the stage one by one until it was just two violinists at the end.   And it worked.   These days, if the musicians did something like that, you could just picture the anger of someone like Andrew Bolt.

And the final piece for today is another hot female musician playing an instrument we don’t normally associate with women – the trumpet.  For some reason, I always think of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band and its members when I think trumpet.  But here is Tine Thing Helseth playing Haydn’s pretty famous trumpet concerto.

Thank you for listening to Preston Radio – though I suspect the numbers will dwindle every week, just like the players in the Farewell Symphony.


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