Haydn and the English Lady Patrick Hawkins

1. See "Maria Hester Reynolds Park" by musicologist Deborah Hayes at http://spot.colorado.edu/~hayesd/MHPark.html

2. Tolley, Thomas. “Haydn, The Engraver Thomas Park, and Maria Hester Park’s ‘Little Sonat’.” Music and Letters 82 (2001), 421–31

3. Women Composers: Music Through the Ages, edited by Sylvia Glickman and Martha Schleifer (12 vols; New York: G. K. Hall/Macmillan, 1995– ), vol.  5, pp. 108–21.

4. Somfai, Laszlo. The Keyboard Sonatas of Joseph Haydn : Instruments and Performance Practice, Genres and Styles. New York: U of Chicago, 2010.

5. Modern urtext editions of Maria Hester Reynolds Park's music are available through the following publishing firms: Vivace Press and Hildegard Publishing Company.

6. While this recording is unique in using an historic square piano, those interested in listening to three excellent interpretations of Maria Hester Park's music performed upon harpsichord or the modern grand piano should seek out compact disc recordings by Barbara Harbach (harpsichord), and Nancy Fierro and Betty Ann Miller (piano). I would especially like to thank Dr. Harbach, an expert in the music of Mrs. Park, for her encouragement of my recording project.

7. Those interested in the engravings of Thomas Park will find several fine examples of his work online by visiting the website for the Yale Center for British Art at http://britishart.yale.edu

Portrait of Joseph Haydn by Thomas Hardy (1792)

Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire by Sir Joshua Reynolds,

c. 1775, The Devonshire Collection

Maria Hester Reynolds was born on September 29, 1760. Little is known of her education, but from age twelve to nineteen she was a keyboard performer for the permanent orchestra in the Music Room in Oxford. By 1785, she was living in London and had published her first set of Six Sonatas for the Harpsichord or Piano Forte and Violin, Op. 1. In 1790, she published her second opus, a set of Three Sonatas for the Harpsichord or Piano Forte, and also married Thomas Park (1759-1834). Thomas was a fine engraver and poet, but he was a man of a modest income. Given her husband’s limited means to support a family of five children, Maria was allowed to offer music instruction to women of nobility, including the Duchess of Devonshire and her daughters. Maria appears to have composed and published music through 1811. Two years later, in 1813, Maria died at the age of fifty-two from a long-term illness, perhaps rheumatism. Two Sonatas for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, Opus 4
London: Longman & Broderip, published for the author, 1795. Dedicated to Her Grace the Duchess of Devonshire. Like Muzio Clementi’s Opus 36, which presented piano compositions in order of technical difficulty, so too does Maria Park’s Opus 4 appear to have been conceived. Her Sonata in F Major is stylistically comparable to sonatinas by the Italian. Though I realize that the composition was originally published as a two-movement sonata, I have taken the liberty to expand it by inserting the composer’s lyrical “Andante Cantabile e Sostenuto” from her earlier published Sonata in F Major, Op. 2 (c. 1790). The Sonata in E-flat Major, in contrast to the F Major, demands a highly skilled keyboard technique. Virtuosic thirty-second note passages, rapid scales, three-against-two rhythmic patterns, and shifting dynamics are some of the many challenges built into the fabric of this delightful music. A Waltz in E-flat Major
London: Rt. Birchall, published for the author, c. 1800. Dedicated to Lady Mary Bentinck. A continental dance, the waltz gained popularity in fashionable circles in England during the Regency period. In Thomas Wilson’s A Description of the Correct Method of Waltzing (1816), the dance master states that more than one form of the waltz existed – namely French and German models. While both used tunes in 3/8 meter, the French waltz started with a “slow Andante; such time enabling the several movements to be performed with more graceful ease, according to their capability; and affording opportunity for the exhibition of greater variety of attitudes, and much facility to the succession in which they may with more pleasing effect be introduced.” The author continues, “to give more vivacity to the dance, the time of the music may be somewhat increased on after the tune has been played through three or four times.” Using this model, Maria Park begins her Waltz in E-flat Major with a grand introduction. The opening eight-measure phrase, which ends on a half-cadence, allows the composer enough time to explore the full colors of the English piano. Following a repeat, a ten-measure B section is heard. In it the composer uses double-dotted rhythms, parallel thirds, sforzando chords, and even sighing gestures to fully capture the drama of the preparatory dance. An Allegretto waltz immediately follows the repeated B section of the introduction. Maria’s utilization of repeated eight-measure phrases is typical with musical examples found in Thomas Wilson’s dance tutor. Her overall compositional form is AABBCCDDEEFFABCD’. A large piano of six octaves, like the William Geib square used for this recording, is required for the performance of this work, because the composer writes for a keyboard compass from low B-flat1 to high A-flat 6! I am grateful to Dr. Curtis Rogers at the South Carolina State Library for his assistance in helping me obtain a copy of the score for this premiere recording. Sonata in C Major, Opus 7 - A Sonata for the Piano Forte
London: Lewis Laveau, published for the author, 1796. Dedicated to William Dance, Musician in Ordinary to His Majesty. This three-movement sonata was dedicated to William Dance (1755-1840) a pianist, violinist, and composer known to audiences at the Drury Lane Theater and also at the King’s Theater. The opening movement is in sonata-allegro form with classically symmetrical phrases – typically eight-measure phrases with four-measure sub-phrases. Motivic material presented in the exposition is thoughtfully restated in the twenty-six measure development, which modulates to the key of G Major (V), E Major (V/vi), and A minor (vi) before returning to the opening tonic in the recapitulation. The “Larghetto” in G Major follows the energetic first movement. Although pedal markings are not specifically indicated in the score, the composer’s indication that the bass voice should sustain through broken chords played by the left hand in measures nine through eleven leads one to speculate that she used the damper pedal, which was becoming increasingly popular on English pianos of the period. The final movement is a five-section “Rondo” in C Major (ABACA). Sonata in D Major, Hoboken XVI/51 - A tribute to Mrs. Park Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) made his second visit to London between the years 1794-1795. His three sonatas (Hob. XVI/50 in C Major, XVI/51 in D Major, and XVI/52 in E-flat Major) spring from this period. Until recently, pianists believed all three to have been composed for the brilliant virtuoso Therese Jansen-Bartolozzi. Now, the D Major is conjectured to have been a gift for Maria Park. Musicologist Thomas Tolley suggests that visual art, not music, originally connected Haydn and Maria Park. Haydn was an avid collector of prints. During his time in London, he came to know an engraving of the popular theater actress, Dorothea Phillips, made by none other than Thomas Park (the image is entitled Mrs. Jordan in the Character of the Comic Muse). It was through this engraving that Haydn came to be introduced to the Parks. A letter, dated 22 October 1794, survives in Haydn’s hand and is addressed to Thomas at 32 Picadilly. It reads, “I am obliged to you for the two so charming prints. I tack [take] me the liberty to send for the Mistris [Mrs.] Parck [Park] a little Sonat, and to come to Her next Friday or Saturday between 1 and 2 o’clock. I am / your most obedient Sr [Servant] / Haydn.” The two prints in question were likely engravings by Thomas Park after the paintings Rosalie & Lubin by Sir William Beechey and Lubin & Rosalie by Richard Torton Paye. Tolley argues that the opening “Andante” movement relates to Beechey’s painting in which the two shepherds are placed in a lovely pastoral scene with a lamb. The “Presto’s” scherzo-like quality, in contrast, relates to Paye’s painting in which Lubin tragically drowns in a river while trying to rescue one of his flock. Adagio in G Major, Hoboken XV/22 This work dates from Haydn’s time in London in 1794. Like the three London sonatas, it was composed for a musical woman – this time for the Esterházy Princess Maria Hermenegild. Some suggest that the Adagio may have been dedicated to her as a token of apology for the composer’s long absence from court. Regardless of the composition’s genesis, it remains one of the most beloved of Haydn’s oeuvre. The composer later made it the second movement of his Piano Trio in E-flat Major. Capriccio in G Major, Hoboken XVII/1 Haydn composed this Capriccio in 1765. The theme “Acht Sauschneider müssen seyn,” or “It takes eight of you if you want to castrate a boar,” is a comic song that was also used by Wolfgang A. Mozart in his K. 32 from 1766. Haydn’s employment of the rustic, peasant tune shows a fondness for his native Austrian folk music. László Somfai, a Haydn expert, has compared the Capriccio to harmonically adventurous rondos by C. P. E. Bach – indeed, the theme appears thirteen times in five major and four minor keys! Although composed upon the harpsichord, the Capriccio fits early pianos beautifully and has become a favorite of Haydn’s devotees. References