Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, February 13, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Holy Redeemer Open House 2016

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
5/21/2014 8:17:00 AM
Biography shines light on Catholic composer
Catholic News Service


Calvin R. Stapert, a professor emeritus of music at Calvin College, has written a persuasive and loving biography and appreciation of Joseph Haydn (1732-1809).

Although Haydn was respected during his lifetime, after his death his legacy was eclipsed by Mozart and Beethoven. Haydn's music came to be characterized as "basically trivial, a mere diversion from the serious affairs of this world -- pleasant, charming, humorous and ultimately inconsequential."

Stapert disagrees. "I love Haydn and think he belongs very near the top of any list of great composers."

"Playing Before the Lord" will be most fruitfully read by the serious student of music. Stapert interweaves biography with a comprehensive "overview of Haydn's huge and diverse output," and a selective, detailed analysis of certain works. Stapert likens his listener's guide to a trail guide for a hiker, providing a "general overview of the terrain and point out some things to look for along the way." His purpose is to "alert a listener's ears to what there is to hear in Haydn's music."

This necessitates the use of the technical language of music. Even with a helpful glossary these sections can seem daunting to a person unfamiliar with music analysis. Still, there is enough in the book that is accessible to the general reader and having this background will enhance a listener's appreciation of Haydn's work.

Stapert argues for Haydn's greatness and his humility. "Haydn's office as a composer was indeed high, but he carried it out humbly before his Creator in the service of his fellow creatures." Haydn said of himself, "Consider me a man whom God has granted talent." His prodigious accomplishments make "talent" an understatement. He was a remarkably prolific composer of symphonies, concertos, sonatas, string quartets, operas, folksong settings, Masses and oratorios. His religious works include the "Stabat Mater," the "Creation" oratorio and "The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross."

Stapert's appreciation for Haydn's music is based on not only the music's technical brilliance but to his respect for the composer's strong Catholic faith. He says this about the oratorio, "The Seasons": "Haydn's mastery of the art of composition enabled him, at the end of his career, to create one of the great works of pastoral art of all time, a hymn of gratitude for the beautiful, hospitable world God made and placed us in." One suspects that Stapert resonates with Haydn's faith, but he is also an optimistic man who regrets grim or preachy art. "To put it in language as seemingly naive as what Haydn himself used, our world needs more art that makes it a happier place."

The other thing the world needs is critics who, like Stapert, refrain from passing judgment on people's lives. Haydn had been in love with Therese Keller "but there would be no marriage because Therese became a nun ... apparently more because of her parents' wishes than her own."

Instead, he wed Therese's elder sister Maria Anna. It was an unsuitable and unhappy marriage. Haydn told his early biographer, Georg August Griesinger, "My wife was unable to bear children" and added, "I was therefore less indifferent to the charms of other ladies." And although there is evidence of at least one affair, Stapert admits that "the story we get of their marriage is far too skimpy for us to understand the real situation." There is something refreshing about his reticence.

Haydn died in Vienna, Austria, May 31, 1809, less than three weeks after Vienna surrendered to French troops. On May 24, "a French officer visited him and sang the aria from 'The Creation' that follows the creation of Adam." Two weeks after his death, Mozart's "Requiem" was performed in his memory. "Such was the world's respect for Haydn that the large number who attended this performance even included many French officers." That this happened in the midst of war is confirmation not only of respect for Haydn, but reverence for the music which was written as a means of praising God.

It is impossible to read this book without, likewise, thanking God for the talent he gave to both Haydn and to Stapert. Then one should go and listen to music.







Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved