Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brown, A. Peter. “Joseph Haydn and C. P. E. Bach: The Question of Influence.” In Joseph Haydn’s Keyboard Music: Sources and Style, 203-29. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

It is widely believed that C. P. E. Bach asserted great stylistic influence on Joseph Haydn, especially in his keyboard compositions. A large amount of the twentieth-century musicological literature on Haydn deals with the similarities and parallels found in the works of the two composers; however, many of the analytical conclusions are unconvincing. This ingrained view of influence is a result of the misrepresentation of a Bach-Haydn relationship in the earliest Haydn biography and journalistic documents, documents that were circulated during Haydn’s life time and soon after his death. Subsequently, these writings affected the interpretations of Haydn’s musical development by later historians and musicians. However, a careful reconstruction of the chronology of Haydn’s works and a close study of the historical evidence reveal that C. P. E. Bach’s influence is most pronounced through one work: Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen. In particular, Bach’s influence is seen in the instructions on how to write a “free fantasia.”

Works: Joseph Haydn: Capriccio in G Major “Acht Sauschneider müssen seyn,” Hob. XVII:1 (222-25), Capriccio from String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20, No. 2, Hob. III:32 (225), Capriccio from Symphony in D Major, Hob. I:86 (226), Fantasia in C Major, Hob. XVII:4 (226-27), Fantasia from String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 76, No. 2, Hob. III:80 (228), “Chaos” from The Creation Hob. XXI:2 (228-29).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Tong Cheng Blackburn

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