The Haydn Economy, Mathew
Author: Nicholas Mathew
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (2022)
With this ambitious book, musicologist Nicholas Mathew uses the remarkable career of Joseph Haydn to consider a host of critical issues: how we tell the history of the Enlightenment and Romanticism; the relation of late-eighteenth-century culture to nascent capitalism and European colonialism, and how the modern market and modern aesthetic values were — and remain — inextricably entwined.
The Haydn Economy weaves a vibrant material history of Haydn’s late career, extending from the sphere of the ancient Esterházy court to his frenetic years as an entrepreneur plying between London and Vienna, to his final decade as a venerable musical celebrity, where he witnessed the transformation of his legacy by a new generation of students and acolytes, Beethoven foremost among them. Ultimately, Mathew claims, Haydn’s historical trajectory compels us to ask what we might usefully retain from the cultural and political practices of European modernity — whether we can extract and preserve its moral promise from its moral failures. And it demands that we confront the deep economic histories that continue to shape our beliefs about music, sound and material culture.
About Nicholas Mathew:
Nicholas Mathew is professor of music and Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Political Beethoven. With James Q. Davies, he is the series coeditor of the New Material Histories of Music series at the University of Chicago Press.