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Thread: Favorite Haydn Joke

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    Member MozartEarlySymphonies's Avatar
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    Red face Favorite Haydn Joke

    Franz Joseph Haydn is often credited to being one of the first composers who wrote humor in their music. What are your favorite jokes from his music? My personal favorites would probably be the bassoon "fart" from his 93rd Symphony and the


    LIGHT!



    From his Creation.
    Last edited by MozartEarlySymphonies; Dec-01-2013 at 23:23.

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    Senior Member Winterreisender's Avatar
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    He has a String Quartet called "The Joke" which contains a hilarious 4th movement...


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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    This is my favourite:

    Knock Knock!!

    "Who's there?"

    "Haydn."

    "Haydn who?"

    "Haydn in the cupboard!"
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MozartEarlySymphonies View Post
    Franz Joseph Haydn is often credited to being one of the first composers who wrote humor in their music. What are your favorite jokes from his music? My personal favorites would probably the bassoon "fart" from his 93rd Symphony and the


    LIGHT!



    From his Creation.
    The fart from 93 has to be up there. However, there are many others: The menuet of Symphony No. 104, where the forte comes in, and then the entire orchestra is silent for 2-3 seconds, after which the menuet gets into stride again. Or the classic 3rd movement of Sonata No. 60, where it sounds like someone making mistakes on purpose. And I really like Sonata 62 (1st movement), where Haydn hits you over the head with some fortes, except you don't know when! Or then there's symphony no. 60, where the players retune their instruments in the middle of the symphony. Or the Leviathan in the Creation (the gurgle gurgle than the double bass, I think, makes), the nightingale or the frog and dog hunting scene in the Seasons. The weaving scene in the Seasons is also funky, with the wheel slowly coming to a halt at the end of the piece. Or the sheep scene in the Creation, that one is gold. There are so many. I love Haydn's humour.
    Last edited by HaydnBearstheClock; Dec-01-2013 at 22:23.

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    Why couldn't they find Beethoven's teacher?
    Coz he was Haydn!

    Seriously (pun intended), the Cmaj Fantasie is full of jokes! And so much fun to play!

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    Senior Member Cosmos's Avatar
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    I was gonna say that bassoon fart is my favorite. If there is a just God, then one performance, there will be the slowing down, then the bassoon's noise, then the orchestra members will pause, the conductor will stop, turn with a face of annoyance/disgust, and the bassoonist will just sit there and shrug, and everyone will laugh

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    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    Oh yes, and the beginning of Quartet Op. 33 No. 5 in E-flat, where the opening phrase sounds like an ending one, so that listeners at the time would logically infer that the movement must end after 2 seconds.

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    Senior Member HaydnBearstheClock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmos View Post
    I was gonna say that bassoon fart is my favorite. If there is a just God, then one performance, there will be the slowing down, then the bassoon's noise, then the orchestra members will pause, the conductor will stop, turn with a face of annoyance/disgust, and the bassoonist will just sit there and shrug, and everyone will laugh
    I definitely agree that the fart has to be staged. It must be respected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterreisender View Post
    He has a String Quartet called "The Joke" which contains a hilarious 4th movement...

    "You wanted that HOW long, again? Okay......"


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    Senior Member Funny's Avatar
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    Of his numerous jokes, I tend to enjoy most Haydn's plays with rhythm, especially in that he seems to be very conscious of how you'll hear the music and points out to you that he's pulled a sleight-of-hand on you. A prime example is the offbeat theme of the finale of Symphony 80. The listener is to be forgiven for hearing the initial phrases on the beat, since there's no context given, and then it's funny when we realize we've been had as the true beat emerges, but he carries it further: before the repeat of the opening there's a fermata, wiping the "pulse" slate clean as if shaking an Etch-a-Sketch, and one the repeat starts, damned if we don't again hear those three notes on the beat, even though now we know them to be offbeats. Then later in the movement he brings the theme back with the winds ticking the downbeats, and yet it's STILL hard to hear the theme as offbeat and the winds as on-beat. It's like a magician showing you how a trick was done while tricking you again.

    A similar play occurs in the minuet of #77, where we get to the end of the antecedent phrase and it seems like all of a sudden the music has shifted to 4/4 without us noticing; we listen to hear what's going on in the consequent phrase and he doesn't do the trick there, it stays clearly in 3. But then he repeats and we get tripped up all over again. Then after hitting us with weird (almost Stravinskian) "random" accents, he returns to the opening version of the theme and we're ready to really pay attention and determine how he's fooling us, but this time, just before the trick (spoiler alert: it's changing the chord on the third beat of the second measure instead of the first beat of the third), he throws a seventh into the harmony to distract us and we are once again bewildered by the sense that somewhere in the phrase, somehow, we shifted into 4.

    OK, OK, it's no bassoon fart, but still very amusing.

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    Consider Symphony #60 ("Il distratto"):

    The finale features one of Haydn's famous musical jokes: the energetic prestissimo opening grinds to a sudden halt following a spectacularly discordant orchestral flourish, as the violins discover that they seemingly "need" to retune their strings — which they noisily proceed to do for 10 to 15 seconds before they resume playing.
    (Wikipedia)

    Added: aha, now I see HaydnBearsTheClock mentioned it already...
    Last edited by jtbell; Dec-03-2013 at 07:29.

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