Karen L. Hiles
- Columbia University
Haydn’s Heroic Decades: Music, Politics, and War, 1795–1809
This dissertation explores the stature of Joseph Haydn and his music in Vienna during the Napoleonic Wars. By reconsidering Haydn, a heroic figure during his lifetime, within the context of contemporary events, the dissertation demonstrates the unique interconnectedness of artistic stature, heroism, and war in these years. Archival research and close musical analysis of selected works by Haydn from a variety of genres, along with attention to early criticism and biographical sketches, emphasize that the “Papa Haydn” persona is an unfortunate simplification of a complex musical personality, and also suggest alternatives to the Beethovenian models of heroism and “late style” which have hitherto dominated our understanding of the period.
Haydn and the Musical Cultures of War, 1790–1809
This project resituates Haydn’s music in the context of Vienna in the 1790s and 1800s, an era marked by war, political upheaval, and Haydn’s emergence as a cultural hero. Beginning from the premise that the Napoleonic Wars are central to understanding Haydn’s success, this project restores vital connections among the political-cultural climate of Haydn’s late years, his music, and his unprecedented status. Chapters organized around themes of empire, war, and legacy contextualize Haydn’s music and investigate the new cultural status of the composer, while also exploring how Viennese music reflected the new militarism sweeping Europe. In this way, the project is as much concerned with a central individual as with the relationship between music, war, and audiences in Vienna around 1800.