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On-line Book Review

YO TOMITA

FRONT COVER
OVERVIEW
Dimension: 28.6 x 22.0 x 2.6 cm
TITLE Joseph Haydn and the Eighteenth Century. Collected Essays of Karl Geiringer edited by Robert N. Freeman. (= Detroit Monographs in Musicology / Studies in Music, No. 35)
PUBL. DETAILS Harmonie Park Press (Warren, Michigan, 2002); xxiv, 259 pp; $52.50
ISBN 0-521-80346-2
TO ORDER Harmonie Park Press, 23630 Pinewood, Warren, Michigan 48091, USA.
Phone 810-755-3080 / 800-886-3080; Fax 810-755-4213
SUMMARY

DESCRIPTION

A collection of 24 essays by Karl Geiringer on the late 18th-century music, esp. around Haydn.
WORKS COVERED Only a passing reference to J. S. Bach; more substantial reference to C. P. E. Bach.
READERSHIP Scholars specialized in the music of Joseph Haydn.
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION Virtually nothing to Bach scholarship, but it contains valuable articles for Haydn scholars.

arl Geiringer (1899-1989) is a household name in Bach scholarship, which he won with the following publications:

 

Contents
Part 1: Haydn's Artistic and Human Personality

1.

Joseph Haydn

2. The portrait of Haydn over the course of time
3. Haydn and his Viennese background
4. Haydn's autograph remarks in his music manuscripts
5. Haydn's Sketches for The Creation

6.

Joseph Haydn, protagonist of the enlightenment
Part 2: Haydn at Work: Specific Fields of His Production
7. The small sacred works by Haydn in the Esterházy archives at Eisenstadt.
8. Haydn as an opera composer
9. From Guglielmi to Haydn: the transformation of an opera
10. Haydn and the Folksong of the British Isles
11. Haydn: The London Symphonies.

12.

The Complete string quartets of Joseph Haydn

Part 3: Haydn and His Contemporaries

13. A birthday cantata by Pietro Metastasio and Leonardo Vinci
14. Gluck and Haydn
15. Concepts of the Enlightenment as reflected in Gluck's Italian Reform Opera
16. Gluck's Telemaco
17. Emanuel Bach and the Music of the Viennese Classical Triad
18. Stephen and Nancy Storace in Vienna
On Haydn Scholars and Scholarship
19. Robert Sondheimer
20. Donald Francis Tovey
21. Anthony van Hoboken
22. Joseph Haydn Institute, Cologne
23. Hungarian Academy of Science
24. H. C. Robbins Landon

Bibliography of the Works of Karl Geiringer relating to Haydn

Indexes

how it looks

Of these, two large monographs that he wrote with his first wife, Irene (1899-1983), are most well known. At the time of publication, they were considered significant: integrating a wide-ranging source including new research by Dürr and Dadelsen, Geiringer wrote these monographs with critical insight, with which he quickly earned his name as a scholar of high calibre who studied Bach from a much wider historical perspective than ever attempted before. To this day they are still frequently consulted despite their age (they were published 49 and 37 years ago respectively), for his discussion therein still retain validity in many areas.

This beautifully produced book by Harmony Park Press is a collection of essays that the editor thought it would represent Geiringer’s scholarly activities as a Haydn scholar. Some of the chapters were published here for the first time, and others became out of print. Clearly, this is an important publication for Haydn Studies.

 

However, for this review, my focus, naturally, is to identify Geiringer’s further contributions to Bach Studies, especially since there is no record of his publication on Bach after the ‘Culmination’ book. I expected that Geiringer has something further to say, even within the context of the Haydn Studies, how much influence Bach had on Haydn and his immediate circles, for instance. It is a well-known fact that Haydn knew many works of Bach; he owned the Nägeli edition of Well-Tempered Clavier as well as the manuscript copy of WTC II, the Breitkopf edition of the motets, and a manuscript copy of the B-minor Mass. But up to this point in time, I have not yet come across any substantial discussions on issues such as how Haydn considered Bach as a composer, and whether Bach had any impact on Haydn’s creative process. This is clear contrast to Mozart whose interest and impact of Bach was significant, as it is clearly reflected in the number of books and articles discussing this topic.

I am sorry to have to disappoint you that I have found nothing that Geiringer offers in this area of discussion in this book, except that there are some references to C. P. E. Bach, which is the only consolation to Bach scholars. It does not mean, of course, that Geiringer completely lost interest in Bach after 1966. We may see in the near future that someone digs out Geiringer’s hitherto unpublished lecture notes on Bach in his old library.

Published online on 17 May 2003

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