Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Joseph Haydn wishes you a Happy Europe Day

Haydn is the most un-national, the most European, the most cosmopolitan of all composers. Theresa May would have dismissed him as a ‘citizen of nowhere’ and told him to ‘GO HOME’; Amber Rudd would have included him in one of her lists of ‘foreign workers’; the Daily Mail/Neue Stürmer would have screamed at an ‘enemy of the people’. A few bars from any one of his symphonies contain more invention, more wit, more humanity, more joy, more wisdom than May, Rudd, and their vile, racist party could ever imagine, let alone know. We will not ‘get over it’, we will never, ever ‘accept’, let alone 'respect', the result of David Cameron’s infernal referendum. Haydn can be just as defiant, just as truculent, just as triumphantly victorious, as his most celebrated pupil, if perhaps more subtly so. With him on our side, we can win; it is up to us, though, to make that happen. Listen below to Colin Davis, as sorely missed as ever, conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra in his Symphony no.86 and remind yourself what Europe and the world beyond are really about. Happy Europe Day!

Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin, 30 April

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