There’s a nice story in The Oregonian today from senior music critic David Stabler on Haydn and the never-ending Haydn/Mozart rivalry. In spite of the fact that David quotes from me extensively, it is a very good piece.
Audiences love Mozart, but Haydn’s music holds a special place for those who know it. With perfect technique, clear layout, rich harmonies and generous emotions, he leaves listeners optimistic, buoyant, engaged.
One of those people is Kenneth Woods, a conductor living in Wales who programs Haydn symphonies whenever he can. Until this season, Woods led the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton.
“Haydn doesn’t have to be a minority interest,” he says. “When people hear his music done well, they adore it.”
On his music blog, a smart, opinionated forum about composers and conducting, Woods leads the charge in support of Haydn: “I’ve said it here before, but I’m not sure everyone heard me,” he writes. “Haydn was a more creative, more talented and more skilled composer than Mozart.”