Day School: Haydn in England

Ref: C3744215

England was a land of opportunity for a great composer like Haydn, who remarked that he only became truly well known in his native Austria after returning from two lengthy spells in London during the 1790s. This course will draw upon a considerable body of documentary evidence and musical examples to tell the story of how Haydn's time in England made him into the most successful composer of his age. With the twelve great symphonies composed expressly for English sensibilities, this medium came of age. Haydn's experiences in London were vital to the subsequent development of the piano trio, piano sonata, oratorio and sacred music. Haydn was naturally curious, and he travelled quite extensively, making many penetrating observations on English manners and customs. His colourful public and private life will be covered by making reference to his letters and notebooks, which, among other things, allude to possible physical intimacy with the widow of a former royal music tutor.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available.

Course aim

To highlight the importance of Haydn's two visits​ to England and how they influenced the development not only of the composer's own work, but also of European music in general at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Suitable for anyone with an interest in the music, culture and history of the late eighteenth century. In addition to the historical and cultural elements, there will be a music appreciation component to the course, including some of Haydn's English symphonies (e.g. 'Military', 'Clock', 'Surprise').

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • recognise the major contributions that Haydn made in the development of late eighteenth-century European music;
  • understand the significance of Haydn's role in shaping English musical tastes;
  • appreciate why Haydn regarded England as 'the land of opportunity';
  • enjoy Haydn's music more fully.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • The following book makes excellent background reading: 'Haydn' by Richard Wigmore, Faber Pocket Guide, 2009

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Day School: Haydn in England

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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