We celebrate March as the Early Music Month primarily–perhaps even simply–because it is the month of Bach’s birthday. How do we define early music? Benjamin K. Roe, Executive Director of The Heiftetz International Music Institute, in a blog post on the Early Music America website, wrote, “… broadly defined, you could say Early Music encompasses everything from the Monks to Mozart, e.g., from the earliest Gregorian chant of the 9th and 10th centuries, all the way up to the post-Mozartian outbursts of Beethoven and the Romantics.”
Go to the www.earlymusicamerica.org to learn more about early music concerts taking place across the country and find one near you. Greenvillians, yours is home grown at the Carolina Music Museum on Heritage Green.
Franz Joseph Haydn, called the “father of the symphony” and the “father of the string quartet”, was born on the same day as Bach and was a teacher to both Mozart and Beethoven, enjoyed great success in London–his last 12 symphonies, The London Symphonies (93-104), were composed there, as was his Mass for Troubled Times, which later became the Nelson Mass. In the late 1790’s Europe was in a state of consternation fearing Napoleon’s rising power. On the verge of subjugating Egypt, word came as the mass was about to be performed (September 1798) that Admiral Horatio Nelson had defeated the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile (August 1798), and ever after the mass was associated with the great naval hero. Haydn and Nelson, and Nelson’s mistress, Lady Hamilton, would meet in 1800 at the Esterhazy court. It was the patronage of the Esterhazy family that for thirty years allowed him produce sublime music across a wide variety of genres.
Go to this website for 15 other amusing facts about Haydn