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39. Haydn: 61st String Quartet, “Fifths”


[…] It is quite something to turn your radio on low
at 4:30 in the morning 
in an apartment house
and hear Haydn
while through the blinds
you can see only the black night
as beautiful and quiet
as a flower.
and with that
something to drink,
of course,
a cigarette,
and the heater going,
and Haydn going.
maybe just 35 people
in a city of millions listening
as you are listening now,
looking at the walls,
smoking quietly,
not hating anything,
not wanting anything.
[…]
you listen to a dead man’s music
at 4:30 in the morning,
only he is not really dead
as the smoke from your cigarette curls up,
is not really dead,
[…]
but now a siren takes the air,
some trouble, murder, robbery, death …
but Haydn goes on
and you listen,
one of the finest mornings of your life
[…]
knowing Haydn at 4:30 a.m.,
the only way to know him,
the blinds down
and the black night
the cigarette
[…]

Excerpt from Some Notes On Bach And Haydn by Charles Bukowski 


Haydn is often referred to as the godfather of modern classical music. Not only did he come up with symphonies by remodelling sinfonias and opera ouvertures, he also reinvented the string quartet as we know it.

He made the string quartet sound more harmonic, by making each soloist equally important. One team, one task. Haydn wrote 68 string quartets, his 61st being one of his most energetic and ambitious.

Recommended recoding:
Amadeus Quartet

▶︎ PLAY IN SPOTIFY

 

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