Haydn: The 'Paris' Symphonies

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Haydn's Symphonies Nos. 82-7 are seminal works in Haydn's output and mark a new level of compositional attainment, launching the important cycle of mature Haydn symphonies written for an international audience. Three chapters of the book deal with the reception of Haydn's symphonies in Paris, documenting the extent to which they dominated the repertoire of important public concert series. The aesthetic basis of Haydn's reception in Paris in the 1780s is considered in discussions of the notions of 'popular' and 'learned' taste and such notions inform the commentaries on the symphonies themselves. Thus as well as discussing technical features of Symphonies Nos. 82-7, broader concerns include the relationship between orchestral splendour and eighteenth-century notions of beauty; the relationship between genius, originality and convention; irony and humour; and the updating of popular orchestral taste.