Reviving Haydn

Reviving Haydn

New Appreciations in the Twentieth Century

Bryan Proksch


University of Rochester Press



Examines the decline and resurgence of Haydn's reputation in an effort to better understand the forces that shape critical reception on a broad scale.
By the 1840s Joseph Haydn, who died in 1809 as the most celebrated composer of his generation, had degenerated into the bewigged "Papa Haydn," a shallow placeholder in music history who merely invented the forms used by Beethoven. In a remarkable reversal, Haydn swiftly regained his former stature within the opening decades of the twentieth century. Reviving Haydn: New Appreciations in the Twentieth Century examines both the decline and the subsequent resurgence of Haydn's reputation in an effort to better understand the forces that shape critical reception on a broad scale.

No single person or event marked the turning point for Haydn's reputation. Instead a broad resurgence reshaped opinion in Europe and the United States in short order. The Haydn revival engaged many of the music world's leading figures -- composers (Vincent d'Indy and Arnold Schoenberg), conductors (Arturo Toscanini), performers (Wanda Landowska), critics (Lawrence Gilman), and scholars (Heinrich Schenker and Donald Tovey) -- each of whom valued Haydn's music for specific reasons and used it to advance particular goals. Yet each advocated for a rehearing and rereading of the composer's works, calling for a new appreciation of Haydn's music.

Bryan Proksch is Assistant Professor of Music History at Lamar University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782045410), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


October 2015
13 black and white, 32 line illustrations
300 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
ISBN: 9781580465120
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS050000, MUS006000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Revival in Context
Haydn's Fall
A Reputation at an Ebb
Recomposing H-A-Y-D-N in Fin de Siecle France
Eccentric Haydn as Teacher
Haydn and the Neglect of German Genius
Schoenberg's Lineage to Haydn
Haydn in American Musical Culture
Croatian Tunes, Slavic Paradigms, and the Anglophone Haydn
The Genesis of Tovey's Haydn
Conclusion: Haydn in the "Bad Old Days"
Appendix: A Note on Methodology and the Russians


[Proksch goes beyond previous studies by Botstein and Garratt by illustrating] how the nineteenth-century degradation and the twentieth-century revival of Haydn's music are both linked to the championing of newer music by composers and critics. Proksch's historical certainly compelling. Haydn enthusiasts and scholars alike will greatly appreciate this story told in a reasonably comprehensive, single-volume account. FONTES ARTIS MUSICAE [Melanie Lowe]

Sensitively outlines the progression in which Haydn came increasingly to be viewed as a mere stepping-stone toward Ludwig van Beethoven. Heinrich Schenker's diverse approaches to the composer are explored . . . most persuasively. Proksch's drawing on diverse primary sources allows for precious insights into the American musical scene. A thoughtfully written and overall very useful addition to the Haydn literature. Forcefully reminds us that Haydn's historical and aesthetic relevance is not an absolute given, but something his advocates must fight for day by day in the concert halls, in the general press, and in scholarly publications. MLA NOTES [Balazs Mikusi]

Proksch masterfully untangles the various agendas that marked Haydn's reception, especially those involved in rebuilding the composer's reputation in the post-Romantic era. Reception historians must take up the challenge to explore that mind and ferret out hidden significance and meaning; to do less is simply to report what has already been printed or said. Proksch answers the call admirably and tells a fascinating story in the process. HAYDN JOURNAL [Jess Tyre]

Haydn scholarship has long been in need of a comprehensive account of the composer's reception. One of Proksch's most striking insights is that both the decline and the revival of the composer's critical fortunates were connected to the claims of new music. The case studies cover France, Austria and Germany, the United States, and Great Britain, and involve figures such as d'Indy, Saint-Sae"ns, Schenker, Schoenberg, and Tovey. Bryan Proksch offers plenty of fresh material to chew on, especially for his focal period of the first half of the twentieth century. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MUSICOLOGICAL SOCIETY [W. Dean Sutcliffe]

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