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Haydn Portrait Discovered

haydn portrait reicherA portrait of Joseph Haydn from 1785 has been discovered in an antique store in the US (Savannah, Georgia). The work was identified by Dr. Walter Reicher, secretary general of the International Joseph Haydn Private Foundation Eisenstadt (right), which has now acquired the painting.

It is one of three versions by Christian Ludwig Seehas dating from the painter’s stay in Vienna. Two other versions of the oil on canvas work are known to exist: One at the Staatliche Museen Schwerin in Germany and a second, once in the possession of the Prussian Heritage Foundation, but lost since 1945.

The newly discovered portrait of Joseph Haydn has been professionally restored at the Picture Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Now, the portrait is displayed in the exhibition of the Haydn-Haus in Eisenstadt, Austria.

Haydn Society of North America conference, 2-3 November 2016, Vancouver

A conference of the Haydn Society of North America (HSNA) will take place at the Vancouver Sheraton Wall Center Hotel, prior to the meeting of the American Musicological Society / Society for Music Theory. We are seeking proposals concerning any work regarding Joseph Haydn and his circle. We also anticipate a joint session with the American Beethoven Society and invite proposals for this session linking the two composers. Presentations accepted for the AMS/SMT conference itself may not be read at this conference. Papers read at the conference may be solicited for publication in HAYDN: Online Journal of the Haydn Society of North America (

Scholars are invited to submit proposals for individual papers or lecture/performances. Papers and presentations should not exceed 30 minutes and include an abstract of no more than 400 words. Please submit complete proposals as an attachment in Word or PDF to Michael Ruhling ( by July 15. Presenters are expected to be members of HSNA at the time of the conference.

The Other Shakespeares, Trinity College Cambridge


We thought that you might like to know about an Entertainment being offered in Cambridge during the summer. Our friends at Dr Derek McCulloch’s Café Mozart will perform music by Haydn, “the Shakespeare of music,” & his contemporaries, including song settings of poems by Goethe, “the German Shakespeare” at Trinity College on 17 July. The event is free to ticket holders – you can claim yours here.

Haydn’s Seven Last Words, arr. Ben Palmer


Conductor Ben Palmer (R) and Denis McCaldin

The Director of the Society, Denis McCaldin, writes:

Last night we attended an all-Haydn concert for Good Friday. This was a special event for any number of reasons, not least as it gave us an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary (24th March 2015) of our establishing a commemorative plaque to Haydn in London.

OSP poster 25March2016 e-flyerAbove all, this was the first performance of a new arrangement of Haydn’s devotional masterpiece The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, prepared by the evening’s conductor. Ben Palmer maintains a small but fine portfolio of ensembles under his direction, including the recently established London Haydn Project. For this occasion however, he brought another of his groups, the Orchestra of St. Paul’s to their namesake church to perform his new arrangement. The Haydn Society of Great Britain has been delighted to support Ben throughout the arrangement and rehearsal process.

Ben notes

This new version is a transcription for string orchestra of Haydn’s original orchestral version, restoring the details omitted from the rather rudimentary string quartet publication of 1787, which left out much important thematic material and contrapuntal complexity.

The Seven Last Words has a grave subject matter but is a remarkably classical work, a structurally rigorous set of Sonatas. For latitude of expression, we were given an exciting first half of the concert. The Symphony No. 26, ‘Lamentatione’ (Hob I/26) was also intended for performance during the Easter week, featuring the seasonally apt chorale melody of the second movement. This work an early exemplar of the Sturm und Drang (‘Storm and Stress’) style certainly benefitted from a well-rehearsed ensemble and daring variation in dynamics. The shoots of Spring forced their way out in the vibrato-light élan of the final Menuet.

The Cello Concerto in C (Hob VIIb/1) was performed by Korean cellist Hyunah Park. An assured and well-prepared rendition, the concerto brimmed with life and the humour that the layman more readily associates with Haydn. Ben’s orchestra proved a lissom, flexible partner in the performance particularly in the control, blend and range of the combined woodwind and horns.

This was a wide-ranging concert that showed the cosmopolitan – and Mass-attending – Haydn at his most comprehensive. It was super to chat with a number of the audience during the interval about the Society and the engage with the continuing interest in this composer for whom London and the English sensibility was a second home, not a year after we had put up the first plaque to his memory just the other side of the Charing Cross Road.

New Arrangement of the Seven Last Words for Good Friday

OSP poster 25March2016 e-flyerHere’s a special event for your diary. The Orchestra of St Paul’s are to play Haydn’s Seven Last Words in a new arrangement for string orchestra by their conductor Ben Palmer at a concert in central London on Good Friday. Mr Palmer writes

This new version is a transcription for string orchestra of Haydn’s original orchestral version, restoring the details omitted from the rather rudimentary string quartet publication of 1787, which left out much important thematic material and contrapuntal complexity.

Also in this concert there is a performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C with Korean virtuoso cellist Hyunah Park, as well as his Symphony no. 26. The Haydn Society of Great Britain is proud to be supporting this concert. More details may be found here.