Franz Joseph Haydn and his “Surprise” Symphony

Franz Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732–May 31, 1809) was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent of the Classical period, who often called the “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” because of his important contributions to these forms as well as to the development of the piano trio and the evolution of sonata form. Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, a village that at that time stood on the border with Hungary. His father, Mathias Haydn, was a wheelwright who also served as “Marktrichter”, an office akin to village mayor. Haydn’s mother Maria, née Koller, had previously worked as a cook in the palace of Count Harrach, the presiding aristocrat of Rohrau. . Neither parent could read music, but Mathias was an enthusiastic folk musician, who during the journeyman period of his career had taught himself to play the harp. The family frequently sang together and with their neighbors.

Haydn’s parents had noticed that their son was musically gifted and knew that in Rohrau he would have no chance to obtain serious musical training. It was for this reason that they accepted a proposal from their relative Johann Matthias Frankh, the schoolmaster and choirmaster in Hainburg, that Haydn, about six years old, be apprenticed to Frankh in his home in Hainburg to train as a musician. Beginning his musical training there, he could soon play both harpsichord and violin. The people of Hainburg heard him sing treble parts in the church choir. In 1739 he was brought to the attention of Georg von Reutter, the director of music in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, who happened to be visiting Hainburg and was looking for new choirboys. Haydn, age eight, successfully auditioned with Reutter, and after several months of further training moved to Vienna (1740), where he worked for the next nine years as a chorister, living in the Kapellhaus next to the cathedral, along with Reutter, Reutter’s family, and the other four choirboys, which after 1745 included his younger brother Johann Michael, who himself became a highly regarded composer,. The choirboys were instructed in Latin and other school subjects as well as voice, violin, and keyboard

By 1749, Haydn had matured physically to the point that he was no longer able to sing high choral parts. He had the good fortune to be taken in by a friend, Johann Michael Spangler, who shared his family’s crowded garret room with Haydn for a few months. Haydn immediately began his pursuit of a career as a freelance teenage musician. During this time, Haydn worked at many different jobs, as a music teacher, as a street violin serenader, and eventually, in 1752, as valet–accompanist for the Italian composer Nicola Porpora in exchange for lessons. He was also briefly in Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz’s employ, playing the organ in the Bohemian Chancellery chapel at the Judenplatz. When he was a chorister, Haydn had not received serious training in music theory and composition, which he perceived as a serious gap. To fill it, he worked his way through the counterpoint exercises in the text Gradus ad Parnassum by Johann Joseph Fux, and carefully studied the work of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. As his skills increased, Haydn composed an opera, Der krumme Teufel, “The Limping Devil”, written for the comic actor Johann Joseph Felix Kurz in 1753.

Between 1754 and 1756 Haydn also worked freelance for the court in Vienna. With the increase in his reputation, Haydn eventually obtained aristocratic patronage, crucial for the career of a composer in his day. Countess Thun, having seen one of Haydn’s compositions, summoned him and engaged him as her singing and keyboard teacher. In 1756, Baron Carl Josef Fürnberg employed Haydn at his country estate, Weinzierl, where the composer wrote his first string quartets. Fürnberg later recommended Haydn to Count Morzin, who, in 1757, became his first full-time employer. Haydn’s job title under Count Morzin was Kapellmeister, that is, music director. He led the count’s small orchestra and wrote his first symphonies for this ensemble. In 1760, with the security of a Kapellmeister position, Haydn married. His wife was the former Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller (1729–1800). The couple had no children.

Count Morzin soon suffered financial reverses that forced him to dismiss his musical establishment, but Haydn was quickly offered a similar job (1761) by Prince Paul Anton, head of the immensely wealthy Esterházy family. Haydn’s job title was only Vice-Kapellmeister, but he was immediately placed in charge of most of the Esterházy musical establishment, with the old Kapellmeister, Gregor Werner, retaining authority only for church music. When Werner died in 1766, Haydn was elevated to full Kapellmeister. Haydn had a huge range of responsibilities, including composition, running the orchestra, playing chamber music for and with his patrons, and eventually the mounting of operatic productions. The Esterházy princes, Paul Anton, then from 1762–1790 Nikolaus I, were musical connoisseurs who appreciated his work and gave him daily access to his own small orchestra. During the nearly thirty years that Haydn worked at the Esterházy court, he produced a flood of compositions, and his musical style continued to develop.

1779 was a watershed year for Haydn, as his contract was renegotiated: whereas previously all his compositions were the property of the Esterházy family, he now was permitted to write for others and sell his work to publishers. Haydn soon shifted his emphasis in composition to reflect this, with fewer operas, and more quartets and symphonies, and he negotiated with multiple publishers, both Austrian and foreign. The new publication campaign resulted in the composition of a great number of new string quartets (the six-quartet sets of Op. 33, 50, 54/55, and 64). Haydn also composed in response to commissions from abroad: the Paris symphonies (1785–1786) and the original orchestral version of The Seven Last Words of Christ (1786), a commission from Cadiz, Spain. Haydn met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sometime around 1784 and was hugely impressed with Mozart’s work.

In 1790, Prince Nikolaus died and was succeeded as prince by his son Anton. Following a trend of the time, Anton sought to economize by dismissing most of the court musicians. Haydn retained a nominal appointment with Anton, at a reduced salary of 400 florins, as well as a 1000-florin pension from Nikolaus. Since Anton had little need of Haydn’s services, he was willing to let him travel, and the composer accepted a lucrative offer from Johann Peter Salomon, a German impresario, to visit England and conduct new symphonies with a large orchestra. The two visits, in 1791–92 and again in 1794–95, were a huge success. He received the Doctor Honoris causa in the University of Oxford. Musically, the visits to England generated some of Haydn’s best-known work, including the Surprise, Military, Drumroll, and London symphonies, the Rider quartet, and the “Gypsy Rondo” piano trio. While traveling to London Haydn met the young Ludwig van Beethoven in his native city of Bonn. On Haydn’s return, Beethoven came to Vienna and during the time up to the second London visit was Haydn’s pupil.

Haydn returned to Vienna in 1795. Prince Anton had died, and his successor Nikolaus II proposed that the Esterházy musical establishment be revived with Haydn serving again as Kapellmeister. Haydn took up the position, though only on a part-time basis. He spent his summers with the Esterházys in Eisenstadt, and over the course of several years wrote six masses for them. But by this time Haydn had become a public figure in Vienna. He spent most of his time in his own home, a large house in the suburb of Windmühle, and wrote works for public performance. In collaboration with his librettist and mentor Gottfried van Swieten, and with funding from van Swieten’s Gesellschaft der Associierten, Haydn composed his two great oratorios The Creation (1798) and The Seasons (1801). Both were enthusiastically received. Haydn frequently appeared before the public, often leading performances of The Creation for charity benefits. He also composed instrumental music: the popular Trumpet Concerto and the last nine in his long series of string quartets, including the Fifths, Emperor, and Sunrise quartets.

During the later years of this successful period Haydn faced incipient old age and fluctuating health, and he had to struggle to complete his final works. By about 1802, his condition had declined to the point that he became physically unable to compose. During his illness, Haydn often found solace by sitting at the piano and playing Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, which he had composed himself as a patriotic gesture in 1797. This melody was later used for the Austrian and German national anthems. A final triumph occurred on March 27, 1808, when a performance of The Creation was organized in Haydn’s honor. The very frail composer was brought into the hall on an armchair to the sound of trumpets and drums, and was greeted by Beethoven, by Antonio Salieri, who led the performance, and by other musicians and members of the aristocracy. Haydn was both moved and exhausted by the experience, and had to depart at intermission. Haydn lived on for another year. He died, aged 77, at the end of May 1809, shortly after an attack on Vienna by the French army under Napoleon.

Franz Joseph Haydn is the composer who, more than any other, epitomizes the aims and achievements of the Classical era. His influence upon later composers is immeasurable. Haydn’s most illustrious pupil, Beethoven, was the direct beneficiary of the elder master’s musical imagination, and Haydn’s shadow lurks within the music of composers like Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms. By one estimate, Haydn produced some 340 hours of music, more than Bach or Handel, Mozart or Beethoven. Few of them lack some unexpected detail or clever solution to a formal problem. Haydn was prolific not just because he was a tireless worker with an inexhaustible musical imagination, but also because of the circumstances of his musical career: he was the last prominent beneficiary of the system of noble patronage that had nourished European musical composition since the Renaissance. His output includes Church Music, Oratorios, Stage Works, Vocal Music, Chamber Music, Keyboard Music, and Orchestral Music consisting of Symphonies and Concertos

My collection includes the following works by Franz Joseph Haydn:

Cello Concerto No. 1 in CM, Hob. VIIb, No. 1 (1765).
Cello Concerto No. 2 in DM, Hob. VIIb, No. 2, Great (1783).
Cello Concerto No. 3 in DM, Hob. VIIb, No. 4, Little.
Concerto No. 1 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples in CM, HV VII, No. 1.
Concerto No. 2 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples in GM, HV VII, No. 2.
Concerto No. 3 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples in GM, HV VII, No. 3.
Concerto No. 4 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples in FM, HV VII, No. 4.
Concerto No. 5 for King Ferdinand IV of Naples.
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit.
Italian Overture in DM.
La Fedelta Premiata: Overture.
Sinfonia Concertante in BbM for oboe, bassoon, violin, cello, and orchestra, Hb. I, no. 105 (1792).
Symphony No. 6 in DM, Morning.
Symphony No. 7 in CM, Midday.
Symphony No. 8 in GM, Evening.
Symphony No. 22 in EbM, The Philosopher.
Symphony No. 26 in dm, Lamentatione.
Symphony No. 44 in em, Trauer (1772).
Symphony No. 45 in f#m, Farewell, Hob. 1:45.
Symphony No. 50 in CM (1773).
Symphony No. 53 in DM, L’Imperiale.
Symphony No. 83 in gm, The Hen, Heb. 1:83.
Symphony No. 87 in AM (1786).
Symphony No. 88 in GM (1787).
Symphony No. 89 in FM (1787).
Symphony No. 94 in GM, Surprise (1791).
Symphony No. 99 in EbM, Salomon No. 10 (1792).
Symphony No. 100 in GM, Military (1794).
Symphony No. 101 in DM, The Clock (1794).
Symphony No. 104 in DM, London (1795).
(Trumpet) Concerto for Trumpet in EbM, Hob. VIIe, no. 1 (1796).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Hamilton Harty and “An Irish Symphony”

Herbert Hamilton Harty (December 4, 1879–February 19. 1941) was an Irish composer, conductor, pianist and organist who was born in Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland, the fourth of ten children of an Anglican church organist, William Michael Harty (1852–1918), and his wife, Annie Elizabeth, the daughter of Joseph Hamilton Richards, a soldier from Bray, County Dublin. Harty’s father taught him the viola, the piano and counterpoint, and, at the age of twelve, he followed his father’s profession and was appointed organist of Magheracoll Church, County Antrim. Harty took further posts in his teenage years as a church organist in November 1895, at St Barnabas’ Church, Belfast, and later a position at Christ Church in Bray, Co. Wicklow, just a few miles south of Dublin. While in the latter, he came under the influence of Michele Esposito, professor of piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, who encouraged him to pursue a career as a piano accompanist. As Bray is only twelve miles from Dublin, Harty was able to go into the city to hear an orchestra for the first time in his life. In 1897, a national competitive music festival was started in Dublin, the Feis Ceoil, where Harty became the official accompanist, where he first accompanied and befriended John McCormack. Harty entered his own String Quartet, Op. 1, in the composition competition in 1900 and was met with praise from the press. He entered chamber or orchestral works annually after that.

In 1900 or 1901, at about age twenty Harty resigned as organist at Bray in order to take up a post at All Saints Church in Norfolk Square, London, England, although this was to last only a week. The basic reason for moving to London was to further his career, and he quickly became known both as an outstanding accompanist and a promising composer. Some of Harty’s early compositions include the Trio (1901) and the Piano Quartet (1904). Among those whom Harty accompanied in his early days in London were Joseph Szigeti, Fritz Kreisler, and the soprano Agnes Nicholls, whom he married on July 15, 1904. In the same year, Harty made his debut as a conductor, in the first performance of his Irish Symphony, at the Feis Ceoil music festival in Dublin. The following year, Harty’s arrangement of Irish songs was included alongside works of Stanford and Vaughan Williams at a recital by Harry Plunket Greene. His Comedy Overture, premiered at the Proms in 1907 where it was played with evident enjoyment and great spirit by the orchestra under Henry Wood. Among Harty’s compositions from these years, there were a setting of Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” (1907) performedat the 1907 Cardiff Festival, a Violin Concerto (1909) premiered by Joseph Szigeti, the tone poem With the Wild Geese (1910) and the cantata The Mystic Trumpeter to words by Walt Whitman (1913) premiered at the 1913 Leeds Festival.

Through his wife’s professional connections, Harty secured his first important conducting engagement in London. In his career as a conductor, Harty was particularly noted as an interpreter of the music of Berlioz. He was asked by Hans Richter to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in a performance of his own tone poem With the Wild Geese in March 1911. The performance was well received, and Harty was engaged to conduct the LSO again during its 1912–13 season concerts at the Queen’s Hall. Hoping to repeat his success as a composer-conductor, he gave the first performance of his Variations on a Dublin Air in February 1913. Although the LSO did not invite him back for the next season, Harty was invited to conduct Tristan und Isolde and Carmen at Covent Garden in 1913. Returning to symphonic music, Harty conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in January 1914, and in April he made his début with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester.

During the First World War Harty joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was posted for duties in the North Sea. He rose to the rank of lieutenant before the war ended in 1918. He then resumed his association with the Hallé, replacing the indisposed Sir Thomas Beecham for performances of Handel’s Messiah in December 1918, and Bach’s B minor Mass and Schubert’s Great C Major Symphony in March 1919. Thanks in no small part to the advocacy of both Sir Thomas Beecham and Albert Coates, Harty was appointed permanent conductor of the Hallé in 1920, a post which he held until 1933, and returned it to the high standards and critical acclaim that it had enjoyed under its founder, Charles Hallé and his successor, Hans Richter. Harty was knighted in 1925. He introduced many new works and composers to Hallé audiences, and he regularly performed works by contemporary composers including Arnold Bax, Ernest Moeran, Jean Sibelius, Richard Strauss, and William Walton. Also he conducted the first public performance of Constant Lambert’s The Rio Grande (1929), the Halle’s first performances of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (1927) and Das Lied von der Erde (1930), and the English premieres of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony (1930) and Shostakovich’s First Symphony (1932). As a composer, Harty’s best-known works from this period are his lavish reorchestrations of Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. He also made a considerable impression during his tours of the USA in the 1930s, developing a close rapport with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The committee of the Hallé decided not to renew Harty’s contract, and in 1932 Harty accepted his last permanent post as artistic adviser and conductor in chief of the London Symphony Orchestra, but it lasted only two years, from 1932 to 1934. He premiered Walton’s Symphony No. 1 with the LSO in 1934. Shortly after his dismissal by the LSO, in the spring of 1934, Harty sailed for Australia for what was to prove a hugely successful concert tour with the Australian Broadcasting Company Symphony Orchestra, the quality of which Harty did much to advance. Two piano compositions from this trip are Spring Fancy, composed April 23, 1934, and Portrait, dated July 9, 1934. He was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London in 1934. In 1936, Harty’s health began to deteriorate, and he was diagnosed with the symptoms of a malignant brain tumor. It was operable, and during his 1937 and 1938 convalescence in Ireland and Jamaica, he used the time to resume composition, setting five Irish songs and writing his last original composition, the tone poem The Children of Lir. After surgery, he resumed his career until 1940. He returned to conducting in December 1938, in a studio concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and appeared at a London concert for the first time since the operation in March 1939, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of The Children of Lir.

Harty conducted extensively during the 1939–40 season, but his health declined once more with a recurrence of the cancer, and his last public appearance was in December 1940. In 1926 he had commissioned a symphony from Moeran, whose Symphony in G minor (1937) was the result, but Harty was too ill to conduct the premiere. The return of the tumor caused his death at the age of 61 in Hove on February 19, 1941. He was cremated, and his ashes were interred in the grounds of Hillsborough parish church, near the front door. There is a separate memorial in the church. Harty’s many awards included a Fellowship from the Royal College of Music in 1924, with Honorary Doctorates from Trinity College, Dublin in 1925, from Manchester University the following year, from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1933 and De Paul University, Chicago in 1936. During his conducting career, Harty made some recordings with his orchestras. His own works are similar in style to those of the late- and post-Romantics, infused with the rhythms and sounds of Irish folk tunes.

The following works by Hamilton Harty are contained in my collection:

In Ireland, rhapsodic fantasy (1918/1935).
An Irish Symphony (1904).
A John Field Suite (1939).
The Londonderry Air for strings and violin (1924).
Suite from Handel’s “Water Music” (1920).
With the Wild Geese, tone poem (1910).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Roy Harris and his Symphony No. 3

Leroy (Roy) Ellsworth Harris (February 12, 1898 – October 1, 1979) was an American composer who wrote much music on American subjects and became best known for his Symphony No. 3. He was born at Chandler, Lincoln County, OK, on February 12, 1898, of mixed Scots, Irish and Welsh ancestry, to poor parents, in a log cabin, one of five children, three of whom died early. His father was able to auction oft the Oklahoma homestead and purchase some land near to Covina in the San Gabriel Valley of southern California, where he brought his family in 1903. Roy grew up a farmer in this rural, isolated environment, studying piano with his mother, and later clarinet. Though he attended the University of California at Berkeley, he was still virtually self-taught when he began writing music of his own, but in the early 1920s he had lessons from Arthur Bliss, then in Santa Barbara, and Arthur Farwell, the senior American composer and researcher of American Indian music, who introduced him to the poetry of Walt Whitman and encouraged the development of a personal style.

Harros also studied with Charles Demarest, Fannie Dillon, Henry Schoenfeld, and Modest Altschuler, composing his first work at age 24. Harris sold his farmland and supported himself as a truck-driver and delivery man for a dairy firm. Gradually he made contacts in the East with other young composers, and partly through Aaron Copland’s recommendation he was able to spend 1926-29 in Paris on Guggenheim Fellowships, as one of the many young Americans who received their final musical grooming in the master classes of Nadia Boulanger. Under her tutelage Harris began his lifelong study of Renaissance music, and wrote his first significant work, the concerto for piano, clarinet and string quartet (1927), along with a piano concerto and a piano sonata, establishing him, in Paris, as one of the premier young American composers.

After suffering a serious back injury, Harris was obliged to return for treatment to the United States, where he formed associations with Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and Serge Koussevitsky at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These associations secured performance outlets for the large-scale works he was writing. In 1934, a week after its first performance under Koussevitsky, his Symphony No. 1 ‘1933’ became the first American symphony to be commercially recorded. It was his Symphony No. 3, however, first performed by Koussevitsky in 1939, which proved to be the composer’s biggest breakthrough and made him practically a household name. During the 1930s Harris taught at Mills College, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ (1934–1938), and the Juilliard School of Music. He spent most of the rest of his professional career restlessly moving through teaching posts and residences at American colleges and universities. In 1936 Harris married the young pianist Beula Duffey who went on to a highly successful career as Johana Harris. The couple had two sons, Shaun and Dan, who performed with The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, a Los Angeles-based rock band of the late 1960s.

Harris was a champion of many causes. The rugged American patriotism of his works of the 1930s and 1940s is reflected in his research into and use of folk music. In 1958 the U.S. State Department sent him, along with some fellow composers including Peter Mennin and Roger Sessions, to the Soviet Union as a “cultural ambassador” and was the first American composer to conduct his own works in Russia, where he conducted the Leningrad Philharmonic The Harrises organized concerts, adjudicated at festivals, and in 1959 founded the International String Congress to combat what was perceived as a shortage of string players in the U.S., and co-founded the American Composers Alliance. They promoted American folksong by including folksongs in their concerts and broadcasts. Harris’s final posts were in California, first at UCLA throughout the 1960s and then at California State University, Los Angeles from 1970 until three years before his death. Among his pupils were William Schuman, H. Owen Reed, John Donald Robb, Robert Turner, Lorne Betts, George Lynn, John Verrall, and Peter Schickele (best known as the creator of P.D.Q. Bach). He received many of America’s most prestigious cultural awards, and towards the end of his life was proclaimed Honorary Composer Laureate of the State of California. Harris’s association with folksong collectors and singers such as John and Alan Lomax and Woody Guthrie resulted in a number of works based on American folk traditions

Harris was a tireless organizer of conferences and contemporary music festivals and a frequent radio broadcaster. Among Harris’s many honors were the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal, a Naumburg Award for his Symphony No. 7, and election to the American Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters. His last symphony, the Bicentennial Symphony 1776 for six-part chorus and orchestra with solo voices and speakers, was a commission for the American Bicentennial in 1976, numbered by Harris as Symphony No. 14 out of superstition over the number 13 but posthumously re-numbered as No. 13. Harris composed at least 18 symphonies, though not all of them are numbered and not all are for orchestra. Though his 13 numbered symphonies are his greatest contribution to American music, he composed over 200 works in a variety of genres and media, including many pieces for amateurs. His output includes works for band, orchestra, voice, chorus and chamber ensembles, such as the symphonic overture When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1934). Harris was a major creative force in the development of an indigenous American style of symphonic composition. He died on October 1, 1979, in Santa Monica, CA.

The following works by Harris are included in my collection:

Epilogue to Profiles in Courage–J. F. K. (1964).
Symphony No. 3 (1939).
Symphony No. 7 (1955).
Symphony No. 9 (1962).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Francois Adrien Boieldieu and his Harp Concerto

François-Adrien Boieldieu (December 16, 1775–October 8, 1834) was a French composer, mainly of operas, often called “the French Mozart,” who specialized in the form of the French opéra comique and helped transform it into a more serious form of early romantic opera. Born under the Ancien Régime in Rouen, Boieldieu received his musical education at the local Rouen Cathedral, first from the children’s choirmaster, Urbain Cordonnier, and then organ and piano from the organist Charles Broche. Even before he learned to read music, Boieldieu was taking part in church music performances, learning the music by ear. During the Reign of Terror, Rouen was one of the few towns to maintain a significant musical life and in 1793 a series of concerts was organized featuring the celebrated violinist Pierre Rode and the tenor Pierre-Jean Garat. In 1791, Boieldieu was appointed organist at the church of St. André in Rouen. It was during this time that Boieldieu composed his earliest works to texts written by his father, such as La fille coupable in 1793, followed by Rosalie et Mirza in 1795. They brought him immediate success. Before long he was also appearing as a pianist, including some of his own works in his programs.

During the Revolutionary period, Boieldieu left for Paris in the summer of 1796 and started work as a piano tuner. Opéra-comique, hybrid works close to classic opera but containing spoken dialogue. Was traditionally performed at the Salle Favart. In 1791, a company set up home in a new theatre, the Théâtre Feydeau, previously reserved for the opera buffa. Over the course of ten years, the Favart and the Feydeau companies were rivals. In 1797, Boieldieu offered the Feydeau La famille suisse and L’heureuse nouvelle. In 1798, he presented the Favart with Zoraime et Zulmare, which brought him extraordinary success. The spiritual heir of André Grétry, Boieldieu focused on melodies which avoided too much ornamentation, set to light but intelligent orchestration. He became professor of piano at the conservatory in 1798. In 1800, he scored a veritable triumph with Le calife de Bagdad. Although his reputation is largely based upon his operas, Boieldieu also composed other works. Among them was his Harp Concerto in C, written in 1800–1801 and one of the masterpieces of the harp repertory.In 1802 Boieldieu married dancer Clotilde Mafleurai. His next successful opera was Ma Tante Aurore in1803.

In 1804, following the breakdown of his marriage to the dancer Clotilde, Boieldieu set off for Saint Petersburg, Russia, to take up the post of court composer to the tsar and conductor of the Imperial Opera, where he stayed until 1810. There he composed nine operas, including Aline, reine de Golconde (1804) et Les voitures versées (1808). On his return to France he won back Parisian audiences with La jeune femme en colère (1811), Jean de Paris (1812), Le nouveau seigneur du village (1813) and a dozen other works. Three years later he was appointed court composer and accompanist. He also became professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire in 1817, a post he held until 1826, and succeeded Étienne Nicolas Méhul as one of the forty members of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. He received the Légion d’honneur in 1820. In the early 1820s, Boieldieu didn’t compose much due to ill health

In 1825 Boieldieu produced his masterpiece, La dame blanche, based on episodes from two novels by Walter Scott. The libretto by Eugène Scribe is built around the theme of the long lost child fortunately recognized at a moment of peril. It was a massive success both in France and internationally, and remained in the European repertoire for many decades. Boieldieu remained separated from Clotilde until her death in 1827, at which point he married the singer Jeanne Phillis-Bertin. Boieldieu’s next — and last — opera, Les deux nuits (1829), didn’t fare so well. Gradually the composer lost the ability to speak, no doubt due to consumptive laryngitis or cancer of the larynx. The bankruptcy of the Opéra-Comique and the revolution of 1830 added to his woes. As a result, he had financial problems, but eventually received a pension from the French government.

Unable to compose, Boieldieu turned to painting; some of his paintings still can be seen at the Rouen Museum. On September 25, 1834, he made his last public appearance at the premiere of Adolphe Adam’s Le chalet. In this way, he stylishly passed on the baton to his brilliant pupil. Boieldieu died in Varennes-Jarcy. Five days after his death, Boieldieu was given a state funeral. On November 13, 1834,his heart was interred in Rouen, in a tomb paid for by that city, while his body was interred in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. He was survived by a son Adrien Louis Victor who was also a composer. Boieldieu’s work illustrates the evolution of French operatic music in the generation following the French Revolution. In its lighter aspects, his style was compared to Gioacchino Rossini’s. His scenes of mystery and romance, particularly in La Dame blanche, are akin to those of Carl Maria von Weber. He also composed numerous romances for voice and harp or piano and several piano sonatas.

The following work by Boieldieu is contained in my collection:

Harp Concerto in Three Tempi (1800).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Howard Hanson and his Symphony No. 2 (Romantic)

Howard Harold Hanson (October 28, 1896 – February 26, 1981) was an American composer, conductor, educator, music theorist, and champion of American classical music. Hanson was born in the very heartland of the United States at Wahoo, NE, to Swedish immigrant parents, Hans and Hilma (Eckstrom) Hanson. In his youth he studied music with his mother. Later, he studied at Luther College in Wahoo, receiving a diploma in 1911, then at the Institute of Musical Art, the forerunner of the Juilliard School, in New York City, where he studied with the composer and music theorist Percy Goetschius in 1914. Afterward he attended Northwestern University, where he studied composition with church music expert Peter Lutkin and Arne Oldberg in Chicago. Throughout his education, Hanson studied piano, cello and trombone. Hanson earned his BA degree in music from Northwestern in 1916, where he began his teaching career as a teacher’s assistant.

In 1916, Hanson was hired for his first full-time position as a music theory and composition teacher at the College of the Pacific in California. Only three years later, the college appointed him Dean of the Conservatory of Fine Arts in 1919. In 1920, Hanson composed The California Forest Play for solo voices, chorus, dancers, and orchestra, his earliest work to receive national attention. Hanson also wrote a number of orchestral and chamber works during his years in California, including Concerto da Camera, Symphonic Legend, Symphonic Rhapsody, various solo piano works, such as Two Yuletide Pieces, and the Scandinavian Suite, which celebrated his Lutheran and Scandinavian heritage.

In 1921 Hanson was the first winner of the American Academy’s Prix de Rome (Rome Prize) in Music awarded for both The California Forest Play and his symphonic poem Before the Dawn. Thanks to the award, Hanson lived in Italy for three years. During his time in Italy, Hanson wrote a Quartet in One Movement, Lux Aeterna, The Lament for Beowulf, and his Symphony No. 1, “Nordic”, the premiere of which he conducted with the Augusteo Orchestra on May 30, 1923. The three years Hanson spent on his Fellowship at the American Academy were, he considered, the formative years of his life, as he was free to compose, conduct without the distraction of teaching.

Upon returning from Rome, Hanson’s conducting career expanded. He made his premiere conducting the New York Symphony Orchestra in his tone poem North and West. In Rochester, NY, in 1924, he conducted his Symphony No. 1. This performance brought him to the attention of George Eastman, inventor of the Kodak camera and roll film, who was also a major philanthropist, and used some of his great wealth to endow the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. In 1924, Eastman chose Hanson at the age of 28 to be director of the Eastman School of Music. Hanson held the position of director for forty years, during which he created one of the most prestigious music schools in America. In 1925, Hanson established the American Composers Orchestral Concerts to serve as a major showcase for the music of American composers, especially those associated with the Eastman School of Music such as Ronald Lo Presti, Bernard Rogers, Peter Mennin, Gardner Read, David Diamond, Kent Kennan, and John La Montaine. Later, he founded the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, which consisted of first chair players from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and selected students from the Eastman School. He followed that by establishing the Festivals of American Music. He was President of the Music Teachers’ National Association from 1929 to 1930. He was also a founder and President for many years of the National Music Council.

Hanson made many recordings (mostly for Mercury Records) with the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, not only of his own works, but also those of other American composers such as John Alden Carpenter, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, John Knowles Paine, Walter Piston, and William Grant Still. Hanson estimated that more than 2000 works by over 500 American composers were premiered during his tenure at the Eastman School. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky commissioned Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, the “Romantic”, and premiered it on November 28, 1930. This work was to become Hanson’s best known. In some ways Hanson’s opera Merry Mount (1934), based on Nathaniel Hawthorne and concerning the early English settlers in America, may be considered the first fully American opera. It was written by an American composer and an American librettist on an American story, and was premiered with a mostly American cast at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1934. In 1935 Hanson wrote “Three Songs from Drum Taps”, based on the poem by Walt Whitman.

Hanson was elected as a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1935, and served as President of the National Association of Schools of Music from 1935 to 1939. In 1938, he became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in Sweden. From 1946 to 1962 Hanson was active in United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). His Symphony No. 4 of 1943 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Hanson met Margaret Elizabeth Nelson at her parents’ summer home on Lake Chautauqua in the Chautauqua Institution in New York and dedicated the Serenade for Flute, Harp, and Strings, Op. 35, to her. The piece was his musical marriage proposal, as he could not find the spoken words to propose to her. They married on July 24, 1946 at her parents’ summer home in Chautauqua Institution. UNESCO commissioned Hanson’s Pastorale for Oboe, Strings, and Harp for the 1949 Paris conference of the world body. Hanson’s first band composition was the 1954 Chorale and Alleluia. In 1961 and 1962, Hanson took the Eastman Philharmonia, a student ensemble, on a European tour which passed through Paris, Cairo, Moscow, and Vienna, among other cities. The tour showcased the growth of serious American music for Europe and the Middle East. Hanson died on February 26, 1981 in Rochester, NY.

In contrast to the angular sounds that dominated American concert music prior to World War II, Hanson wrote in an unabashedly neo-Romantic idiom influenced by his Nordic roots. . As a composer his musical language is akin to that of Sibelius or Rachmaninov. Hanson’s most characteristic works are undoubtedly his seven symphonies. He also composed a variety of other chamber, vocal, and orchestral works, including concertos for organ and for piano and a Chamber Concerto for piano and strings, as well as ballet suites. His choral music enriched that repertoire with several of the most popular works for chorus and orchestra. Hanson’s influence as a composer, conductor, educator and administrator is a considerable and abiding testament to his greatness and his importance to every area of American musical life.

My collection includes the following works by Hanson.

(Piano) Concerto in GM for Piano and Orchestra, op. 36 (1948).
Elegy to the Memory of my friend Serge Koussevitsky, op. 44.
Merry Mount (1933): Suite (1938).
Pan and the Priest, Symphonic Poem, op. 26 (1926).
Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns.
Symphony No. 1 in em, Nordic. op. 21 (1922).
Symphony No. 2, Romantic, op. 30.
Symphony No. 4, Requiem in memory of my beloved father, op. 34 (1943).

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

October news from Home School Book Review

Home School Book Review blog is the place for parents who homeschool or are just interested in the quality of literature which their children read, to find book reviews, primarily of children’s and youth literature, from a Biblical worldview. There are over 2,800 reviews currently posted.

Some of the book reviews that were posted in October of 2013 include the following:
October 31, 2013: The Gold Cadillac
October 30, 2013: The Case for Easter
October 29, 2013: The Hair-Pulling Bear Dog
October 28, 2013: The Devil’s Arithmetic
October 27, 2013: Animal Helpers: Zoos
October 24, 2013: The Fort on Fourth Street
October 23, 2013: The History of Piracy
October 22, 2013: A Butterfly Called Hope
October 21, 2013: Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione
October 11, 2013: In the Reign of Terror
October 10, 2013: Touching Godliness
October 9, 2013: Breathless
October 7, 2013: Billy and Blaze: A Boy and His Horse

Each month, a Book of the Month award is announced. The winner for October of 2013 is:
Billy and Blaze by C. W. Anderson.

Runners up were The Hair Pulling Bear Dog by Lee Roddy, Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione by Chuck Black, and In the Reign of Terror by G. A. Henty.

Some books that we are currently reading and will be reviewed in the near future are:
Infamous Pirates by Ezra Strong
Mark Twain and the River by Sterling North
West of the Scioto by Robert G. Lowe
Homesick: My Own Story by Jean Fritz

Table of Contents from 11/2013 Biblical Homeschooling Newsletter

BIBLICAL HOMESCHOOLING is a free, monthly, e-mail newsletter of general interest, encouragement, and information for homeschooling Christians published by Wayne S. Walker, a minister and homeschooling father living and working in Salem, IL.

Anyone who is interested may subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to and then following the instructions that will be sent, or by signing up on the web at .

The following is the table of contents from the November, 2013 (Volume 16, No. 4) issue:

November, 2013
Table of Contents
By Allison Landry and Amber Shiflett, Capital News Service (May 13, 2013)
By Paige Baxter and Allison Landry, Capital News Service (March 27, 2013)
By Susan Ryan
By Ann Hoopsick, Colonial Heights, VA (May 29, 2013)
By Marvin Olasky, World Magazine (May 17, 2013)
by Auke Boersma (May 8, 2013)
From Home School Legal Defense Association (May 30, 2013)
By Daily Iowan Editorial Board (May 14, 2013)
by Susan Ryan (May 31, 2013)
By Joesph White and Ben Nuckols, Associated Press (May 31, 2013)
By Dean Reynolds, LaPorte, IN (May 29, 2013)
By Susan Ryan (May 31 2013)
Confirms students are not bound day-to-day by public school calendar
By Bob Unruh, (5/30/2013)
By Michael P. Farris, HSLDA Founder and Chairman (June 4, 2013_
by Shelby Fenster (Jun 4, 2013)
by Carolyn (Jun 20th, 2013)
17. REASONS TO HOMESCHOOL – Jab in the Eye with a Sharp Stick
by Susan Ryan (Sept. 13, 2013)
by Wayne S. Walker
19. PETER’S VISION (Acts 10:9-33)
By Wayne S. Walker

Monthly meditation from 10/2013 Biblical Homeschooling newsletter

Monthly Meditation
by Wayne S. Walker

“For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 117:2). The longest Psalm is Psalm 119. The shortest Psalm is just two Psalms earlier, Psalm 117, with two verses. It is basically a Psalm of praise. Verse one reads, “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him all you peoples!” The second verse then gives the reason why the Psalmist encourages everyone to praise the Lord. “His merciful kindness is great toward us.”

The Lord’s merciful kindness towards sinful mankind is truly great. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Even though every single responsible human being has sinned against God, He still loves us enough to have sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might have salvation.

The Lord’s merciful kindness towards His people is also great. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ….in [whom] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:3-7). Not only is redemption offered to all mankind, but also once we have been redeemed, we have wonderful blessings such as the privilege of prayer, the guidance of God’s word, the fellowship of other Christians in the church, and, of course, the hope of eternal life. That is merciful kindness indeed.

The Lord’s merciful kindness towards each of us as individuals is surely great as well. “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Yes, I know that there are many in this world, and even in our own land, who are suffering. But the vast majority of us have roofs over our heads, clothing for our bodies, sufficient food to eat, and a number of other comforts and conveniences, all of which the merciful kindness of God makes possible.

The Lord’s merciful kindness towards the world in general is great. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible definitely teaches that Jesus will return. There is much evil in this world, and we may sometimes wonder why He has not come back yet. But the reason is that God is longsuffering and wishes to give every possible chance for repentance. Certainly those of us who are homeschoolers, especially among believers, can join with the Psalmist to say that God’s merciful kindness towards us is great!

(BIBLICAL HOMESCHOOLING is a free, monthly, e-mail newsletter of general interest, encouragement, and information for homeschooling Christians published by Wayne S. Walker, a homeschooling father and minister who lives in Salem. This monthly meditation is from the October, 2013 (Volume 16, No. 3) issue. Anyone interested can subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to and then following the instructions that will be sent, or by signing up on the web at .)

One Room Country Schoolhouse, Carmi, IL

The One Room Country Schoolhouse is located on Robinson Street in Carmi, IL 62821. It was built as either Randolph or Rudolph school around 1870, then was moved to town about 1994 by a group of retired teachers, and is now used as a museum. It is actually in the block down from the Matsel Cabin, and is behind the VFW. A visit here offers nostalgia for some and a history lesson for others and reminds us all that the “latest educational technology” used to be a blackboard and piece of chalk and a few textbooks to share. For more information, phone: 618/382-8425 or call alternate 618/382-2048.