The Virtual HaydnParadox of a Twenty-First-Century Keyboardist

The Virtual HaydnParadox of a Twenty-First-Century Keyboardist

Tom Beghin

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226156774

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Written from the perspective of Historically Informed Performance, Haydn at the Keyboard investigates various webs of communication in Joseph Haydn’s repertoire for solo keyboard. Communication suggests people. For the “rhetorical man” that Haydn was, this means taking into account the clientele of his sixty-odd works. Who was the woman-amateur at the keyboard, the typical user of his scores? Marie Esterházy (dedicatee of Hob. XVI:40-42), the sisters von Auenbrugger (Hob. XVI:35-39, 20), and the double dedicatees Theresa Jansen and Magdalena von Kurzböck (Hob. XVI:52) represent different types of “her,” the female partner in the modern performer’s triangular relationship with Haydn. The paradigm of playing Haydn “her” way (with a few notable exceptions along the way) is explored through six chapters, four of which are devoted to specific works or groups of works. Emerging dualities include composer vs. performer, master vs. pupil, professional vs. amateur, male vs. female, print vs. performance, descriptive vs. prescriptive notation, English vs. Viennese (female) pianism. This book complements a complete recording of the repertoire by the author (The Virtual Haydn, 2009/2011). No longer bound by single recording takes, this book, along with an annex website, revels in the process of performing Haydn. Sight-reading a new work is just as valid as a rehearsed performance of it, “before” and “after” yielding a rich paradox for the performer intent on encapsulating both.