Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Just to give you friends of the decanter something happy to think about as you gaze out into the silent, body-strewn streets, I would point out that today is the “anniversary” of the birth, in 1732, of Franz Joseph Haydn.  (It’s generally argued that he was probably born March 31, but I believe it was Haydn’s own joke that April 1 was the more appropriate date.)

Ol’ Papa is one of Robbo’s very favorite musickal personalities:  Self-made, hard working, modest, a shrewd businessman, yet at the same time loyal, kind-hearted, and extremely witty.  And the man had nothing of that narcissistic wankery about him which was invading Western Art via the romantic movement by the time of his death in 1809.  Papa was an artisan, not an artiste, and never forgot that his musick was meant first for the glory of God and second for the enjoyment of his audiences.

He was a Good Man.

I won’t post any yootoob performance samples here since I abstain from musick during Lent, but if you want a definitive biography I cannot recommend highly enough Haydn: His Life and Music by H.C. Robbins Landon.