By W. Dean Sutcliffe
The Op. 50 string quartets comprise many of the purest writing Haydn ever entire. during this first complete account of the six quartets, Dean Sutcliffe evaluates the Op. 50 with regards to Haydn's extra usually played quartets and considers their relevance to Haydn's wider output. each one quartet is mentioned intimately. The history to those works contains a short background of the string quartet and an overview of Haydn's past works during this style and of his position at Esterhaza. the outline of the composition and book of the Op. 50 quartets is predicated at the facts of Haydn's surviving letters and the lately came upon autograph copies of nos. three to 6--a discovery that's vividly documented the following for the 1st time.
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Additional resources for Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 50 (Cambridge Music Handbooks)
There exists the faint possibility that Haydn made a gift of the autographs to Clementi - he is known to have given some of his manuscript works away in later years - but a more likely sequence of events would involve Clementi receiving the works from Hummel, perhaps as part of a business transaction. There would also have been later opportunities - four more visits to the Continent before his retirement for Clementi to have acquired the works in such a manner. Aside from these speculations, there remain other questions, such as the ownership of the autographs subsequent to Clementi, the reason for their being 40 The story of the autographs auctioned, and the manner of and reason for the separation of Nos.
Haydn thus bids an unsentimental farewell not just to this particular movement (he had done the same by means of col legno at the end of the slow movement of Symphony No. 67, written in 1778) but to this style and texture for his string quartets altogether. It is significant that Op. 33 No. 5 was probably the first of the set to be written, and that the heavy regularity of its slow movement is succeeded by the most asymmetrical of scherzo themes. This stylistic juxtaposition, and that in Op. 33 No.
Altogether this letter, like so many others by Haydn, demonstrates the same turn of mind that informs the Op. 50 quartets themselves: one that is able to formulate ideas with great brevity, then move quickly and relentlessly onward in order to achieve its own ends. Whether one is amused by the effrontery or scandalized by the impropriety of Haydn's commercial behaviour, the extenuating circumstances must be understood. Haydn's drive to capitalize on his musical products was fuelled, as we have seen, by the realization that he had been denied any part in the profits made for many years under his name.