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Appendix E: A Selection of Haydn's Letters
The greater number of Haydn's extant letters deal almost exclusively with business
matters, and are therefore of comparatively little interest to the reader of his life. The
following selection may be taken as representing the composer in his more personal and
social relations. It is drawn from the correspondence with Frau von Genzinger, which
was discovered by Theodor Georg von Karajan, in Vienna, and published first in the
Jahrbuch fur Vaterlandische Geschichte, and afterwards in his J. Haydn in London, 1791
and 1792 (1861). The translation here used, by the courtesy of Messrs Longman, is that
of Lady Wallace.
The name of Frau von Genzinger has been mentioned more than once in the biography.
Her husband was the Esterhazy physician. In that capacity he paid frequent visits to
Eisenstadt and Esterhaz (which Haydn spells Estoras) and so became intimate with the
Capellmeister. He was fond of music, and during the long winter evenings in Vienna was
in the habit of assembling the best artists in his house at Schottenhof, where on Sundays
Mozart, Haydn, Dittersdorf, Albrechtsberger, and others were often to be found. His wife,
Marianne--nee von Kayser--was a good singer, and was sought after by all the musical
circles in Vienna. She was naturally attracted to Haydn, and although she was nearly
forty years of age when the correspondence opened in 1789, "a personal connection was
gradually developed in the course of their musical intercourse that eventually touched
their hearts and gave rise to a bright bond of friendship between the lady and the old,
though still youthful, maestro." Some brief extracts from the letters now to be given have
of necessity been worked into the biography. The correspondence originated in the
following note from Frau von Genzinger:
January 1789.
With your kind permission I take the liberty to send a pianoforte arrangement of the
beautiful adagio in your admirable composition. I arranged it from the score quite alone,
and without the least help from my master. I beg that, if you should discover any errors,
you will be so good as to correct them. I do hope that you are in perfect health, and
nothing do I wish more than to see you soon again in Vienna, in order to prove further
my high esteem.
Your obedient servant,
To this Haydn replies as follows:
ESTORAS, Janr. 14, 1789.