Wednesday, February 18, 2009

'A warm-up act'

Highbrow provocateur Norman Lebrecht marks the bicentennial of Joseph Haydn's death by contending that "Haydn is not a stand-alone composer, but a warm-up act. . . . Anyone who works his way through a batch of Haydn scores will soon recognise that he is not a composer who, like Mozart or Beethoven, shows consistent novelty and strength of will."

And here we were, thinking that "consistent novelty" was one of Haydn's strongest suits.

Also, he wrote too much music to keep track of (unlike, say, Bach?) and produced just one good tune, and that got turned into "Deutschland ├╝ber Alles" . . .

Axiom of punditry: When making a fallacious assertion, don't stop at one or two errors. Go for broke.