Discovery of Joseph Haydn's original manuscript for the pieces Hob. XIX:1 and Hob. XIX:2 (Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels)

Marie Cornaz

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In February 2007, the Music Division of the Royal Library of Belgium had the good fortune to acquire from private ownership a precious document that had been previously unknown to researchers. It is a notebook that belonged to the violinist and composer Henry Vieuxtemps (1820-1881). It contains words and musical staves written by the numerous personalities the musician encountered between 1834 and 1840, the years that mark the beginning of his career. On 11 May 1837, a remarkable document was added to the notebook, given to the young violinist during his stay in Vienna by the publisher August Artaria: two folios of original manuscripts by Joseph Haydn containing the pieces Hob. XIX:1 and XIX:2, ranked among the pieces for a “Flötenuhr”. These melodies were only known through the transcription based on a cylinder of this mechanical instrument. For this reason, there had been some hesitation in attributing these pieces to Haydn, since their authenticity could not be proved through an autograph or any other source.

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