“Mr. Salomon having taken a journey to Vienna purposely to engage the celebrated Haydn, Chapel-Master to his present Highness Prince Esterhzy, to come to England, most respectfully aquaints the Nobility and the Gentry that he has actually signed an agreement with Mr. Haydn. (They) hope to be in London before the end of December, when Mr. Salomon will have the honour of submitting to the Publick a Plan of a Subscription Concert, which he flatters himself will meet with its Approbation and Encouragement.” (Morning Chronicle, Dec. 29th 1790) This announcement heralded one of historys most successful musical coups. The violinist, composer and impresario Johann Peter Salomon (1745-1815) managed to secure a visit to London from one of Europes most revered composers. The arrangement promised gain to all involved: Haydn was to receive the princely sum of 1200 pounds (far exceeding any of his previous earnings); Salomon was to put on an eagerly awaited series of concerts in the Hannover Square Rooms featuring Haydns latest works; and the public was to be presented with the pinnacle of Haydns symphonic oeuvre – the 12 London Symphonies.
Salomons timing in securing this accord was impeccable. Haydns patron of 29 years, Prince Nicolaus von Exterhzy had died earlier in the year, and his less artistically inclined son, Anton, duly sacked the court orchestra, pensioning off the 58 year old Kapelmeister. In contrast “Haydn is quite extraordinarily popular here. His Ouvertures and Symphonies are constantly performed” wrote the London correspondent of the German Journal des Luxus und der Moden….
You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.