I adore Haydn. I never understand the claim that he is the poor mans Mozart. And I think, though I am unsure, that this perception is gaining ground. His Piano Sonata's, Piano trio's, Symphony's[for the most and consistent part], string quartets, are, in my opinion, all superior to Wolfy's. So Haydn lived longer and didnt die in a fashionable way, but even his masses are comparable and as fresh as Mozarts, again, if not moreso. One area that Mozart definetely rules over Haydn is are the Opera's[and piano concerto's]. Now, I must say that, like the masses[till recently], I am unfamiliar with Haydn's work in the genre. But I have little doubt that once I hear Haydn operas I will, again, find underrated masterworks unjustly ignored. Look at the Creation and the Seasons- operatic type works-masterpieces both.
So now we get tot his disc of his Wind Divertimenti[seven in total though number 4 is missing and 8 is of questionable authorship-evenmoreso after listening to it]. I sought these out after my LP of these brilliant, fresh works finally bit the dust and, to my surprise, this was really the only option for these works[again, what a disgrace.] If mozart had composed them we would probably have about 25 different versions available and 7000 versions deleted.
The works themselves are bursting with wit and invention and life, they are fast-paced, intricate, and, more often than not, anticipating such composers as Stravinsky, hartmann, Perle, and basically anyone else who has written works for winds[even if they dont know it]. What is even more interest is to look at the wind genre preceding these works..as in the string quartets, piano trios, and symphonys, once again, it appears as if Haydn paved the way and did it in such a high manner that it set a trend that still is relevant today.
Lastly, I adore Mozart. I really do. Check out K428 for one of the finest string quartets ever written. But, where would it be without Haydn's sun quartets op20. Hmm. Seriously....where?