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Andreas Roseneder   portrait Joseph Haydn 2007 after Thomas Hardy 1791

my executions in follow are to be read as a test on a well-known testimony.

that silly way I follow the heir of a genius I do not understand jet, – although he – the genius – claimed & everybody ever perpetuated: “my language is understood all over the world.”

–  my sheer attempt to an approximate approachement seems at the moment to be my only chance to understand:

inspired tellers always sent images to somebody listening. – & the images reflected a “sound” to the listeners.

literary seen an image may be a part of some one´s hole story reflected & mingled with by the readers own story.

in a world of a holistic perception of an image the recepient reflects his visions on its own means he ever did. –  obviously a personal pictorial image that always will be overloaded by the beholder to set himself naked into…

… soundlessness …

– good conditions for interception? –

MAAAK – who are you?

where are you?

I´m yearning a sound!

Dr. Haydn

Andreas Roseneder 2008, sketch after a drawing by George Dance, London 1794



  1. Dear René,

    the way you write English appears like the way Haydn wrote German in his time … read his letters and you’ll know what I mean. It goes so far that serious music scientists doubt that a man with such a language standard could have ever been able to write music at such a sophisticated level as is always attributed to Haydn. To regard him as a genius will strike you as wrong after really getting to know his writings. The genius behind his music is Mozart.


  2. Dear Unas, René and everybody else,

    Maybe I can offer You a translation?

    I understand a little German, my English is far from perfect, in my earlier years I’ve studied some new testament Greek, some Latin, the basics in Hebrew and Estonian, Swedish is my mothertongue, I speak Finnish fluently and I am able to make myself understood in Norweigan and Danish. Furthermore I’ve studied music and homiletics for quite a few years.

    The greatest problem with Haydn was not his language/writing skills. It is, and always will be, his music. It is boring.

    Nor is the problem with René his language/writing skills. It’s his thoughts. They’re complicated, although far more interresting than the music of Haydn.


    Oh, and before I finish my comment: my poor mathematic skills once made my teacher cry – and not with joy, I may add – does that mean I have no RYTHM?



  3. hi Unas,
    as Austrian I´m thinking German & never will go an anglo-saxon way in thinking; same as Haydn wouldn´t have done – although he stayed some time in London. & I never was interested in his writings nor in his music (with some exeptions)& can say that about Mozart too. the only task I make to my business (for a serie of exhibitions on matters of Haydn-Year 2009) at the moment is the psychologic urge of the crative genius of this musician, also the historical artific & criminalistic history of physionomical reproduction (portraits), phrenological investigations (Gall´sche Schädellehre) & musical rendering by different conductors. short: the IMAGE of a so called genius in changing times.
    ys, rené

    hi Anni,
    Mozart bores me same as Hundertwasser – see last post & I hope my language was not too complicated, 😉
    sincerely, rené

  4. Hi René,
    I didn’t know that you were doing this as some kind of work for exhibitions and thought you were writing it from your own standpoint, having painted the picture out of a creative admiration for Haydn, having been “cursed” by what you were writing and painting about, for I am used to your English being somewhat better and more understandable. It appears I neglected to mention this in the OP because I am often furious about the high level of admiration that Haydn’s music still receives compared to his low level of creativity. I have sung Haydn masses in choirs, as well as Mozart, Kempter, Caccini, Gounod et al., and I have seen writings by Haydn. And yes, Mozart usually bores me too, although his level is infinitely higher and the Requiem belongs to my favourites. I have started to sing his stuff only because his Coronation Mass was the first one for me to sing with my classical choir, getting addicted to his choral works and masses. Maybe my perception of the rest would change too if I played a classical instrument other than the piano.

    And yes, after having read your post a second time, I think I start to see what you mean. It depends on whether the reader separates the word “image” from “picture”, which the German language (my mother language btw) does not. In it, both expressions are included in the word “Bild”. I even use this parallelism in my “about” page in my blog, which could therefore not be translated to English. I know you didn’t mention the word “picture”, but due to your writing “image” in caps in the 3rd comment I know you are aware of that difference, having used it as a pun too because you have a PICTURE of that so called genius in the blog post. The word is good and conveys a sense of cynicism. I say I know why I’m used to better English from you – your last comment proves it.

    What’s the relation between maths and rhythm?

    best regards,

  5. Unas: The same as between language skills and intellect. I other words – not much and often exaggerated. 😉

  6. hi Unas, thanks for your comprehensive comment. & for you as German speaking:

    „[Man kann] sagen, dass man immer auf irgend einen festen Grund kommen muss, sei er nun ein Bild, oder nicht, und also sei ein Bild am Grunde allen Denkens zu respektieren.“……
    „Es gibt wirklich die Fälle, in denen Einem der Sinn dessen, was er sagen will, viel klarer vorschwebt, als er ihn in Worten auszudrücken vermag. (Mir geschieht dies sehr oft.) Es ist dann, als sähe man deutlich ein Traumbild vor sich, könnte es aber nicht so beschreiben, dass der Andre es auch sieht. Ja, das Bild steht für den Schreiber (mich) oft bleibend hinter den Worten, so dass sie es für mich zu beschreiben scheinen.“ (Wittgenstein, Vermischte Bemerkungen, 1949)

  7. to Unas & Anni
    (has nothing to do with maths directly (Ludwig Wittgenstein has a lot references to maths) but language & literature concerning RYTHM):


    Der Begriff (englisch image) hat seit der Blütezeit des NEW CRITICISM, in dem er eine zentrale Rolle spielte, sehr an Popularität verloren. Zu einem Teil muss das darauf zurückgeführt werden, dass man sich der Bedeutung des Begriffs nicht mehr sicher war, in seinen 1970 gerade zur rechten Zeit veröffentlichten Reflections on the Word ‘Image’ legte P.N. Furbank diese Zweifel unmissverständlich und polemisch dar:

    Das Problem mit dem Wort ‘imagery’ ist, dass es sich wohl auf einen technischen Aspekt von Literatur zu beziehen scheint – wie ‘Rhythmus’ oder ‘Strophe’ oder ‘Metapher’–, dass sich aber nicht so einfach sagen lässt, worauf (1970, 60)

    Das Wort image bzw. Bild wird, so schreibt Furbank weiter, in ganz verschiedenen und widersprüchlichen Bedeutungen verwendet, so etwa als Ausdruck für ‘geistiges Bild’ bis hin zu einer Bezeichnung für METAPHER, Vergleich oder Symbol. Es liegt eine gewisse Ironie darin, dass er dabei mit den Waffen der New Critics gegen einen ihrer bevorzugten Begriffe vorgeht: Bilder in einem Werk zu abstrahieren, so behauptet er, heißt, eines der wichtigsten Prinzipien der modernen Literaturkritik zu ignorieren, nämlich dass ein literarisches Werk ‘ein vollständiges Ganzes ist und die einzelnen Teile, aus denen es besteht, nur als Teile dieses Ganzen Bedeutung haben’ (1970, 12).

    every language has it´s own philosophical RYTHM in different semantic spheres.
    – this is the intellectual background I am involved with in my artwork at the moment, ys, rené

  8. Thanks for the philosophical texts. They offer deep insight, and the one about the new critics actually made me laugh, on top of that. It shows how some philosophers who are surely among the best of their kind have lost touch with common sense.

    A word can never lose its meaning, for it never really has ONE in the first place. Ask ten people to write an essay about the word IMAGE, for example. You will have ten texts, of which some will have a lot in common, but the subtle differences are where the writer’s own thoughts come in. Many people don’t think about such words, using them like tools to assemble a sentence like a model kit. Those usually do not even have an image in mind when they think about IMAGE. As I already said, the German language’s word BILD might be closer to IMAGE than it is to PICTURE, which shows in the word BILDung, but using it for that other sense demonstrates a lack of phantasy in the structure of the German language, which has mostly been used for accounting and similar purposes.

    Here is the connection to language skills: Skillfully used language is able to fire up images in the reader’s or listener’s imagination. Writing or talking about a subject in blunt language or using a finer, elaborated style makes a lot of difference. Everybody can use blunt, direct words, but for that finer style, a good intellect is required. You need a vocabulary, an understanding of it, and you need to be able to present your words in a way not only understandable, but also enticing to read or listen on and demand seconds after you’re finished. Sometimes, the writers and speakers concentrate so hard on the IMAGE they want to convey that they don’t bother about orthography, grammar or vocabulary, especially if the language in which they write is not their own. But especially if you read Haydn’s, as I call them, “ramblings”, you start to think that style can’t have been intentional and that one who writes like that can’t be very smart, furthermore you’ll start to doubt his ability to write music like that all by himself.

    So yes, intellect is the base of language skills in the way maths is the base for rhythm, but not its origin.


  9. I will have to admit that this is one of the more interresting internet discussions I’ve followed and participated in for a long time. However, the exaggerated importance of the spoken or written language annoyes me, especially when used as an instrument or tool in attempts to examine the intellect of someone who’s primary talent is/was perhaps non-verbal.

    I now choose to withdraw from further discussion on the subject, quite content that what at first sight appeared to be merely a welldisguised, sophisticatedly delivered insult/comment turned into something more adequate.

    Personally I am, and always will be, grateful for the efforts made by each and every individual who has the courage or will to communicate – not necessarily by IQ or language skills, but also by EQ and richness in flexibility – AND maybe therefor finding paths of connection and understanding where others do not.

    All the best to all of You,



  10. Dear Anni,

    Concerning Haydn his letters are the only things we have of which we can say without any doubt that they are from him. Great parts of his music have not only been inspired by, but blatantly copied from other musicians, with Haydn himself having spent copious amounts of money on Mozart scores and the rights to them and suspicions against him playing an important role in Mozart’s and Esterhazy’s death being hard enough that you could get him to court and the suit would have to be fully “processed”. Therefore his music is not a reliable source, even neutrally seen if one can take enough distance from a positive or negative opinion about it, and we only have his words. With me being primarily a linguist, it is natural that I focus so hard on it. On the other hand, you may understand enough about music that your input about the originality of Haydn might contribute greatly to an understanding about him. I only took from his letters that he has been a very ruthless, career-oriented guy, but I admit freely to not knowing enough about music that I could say which parts are originally Haydn and taking the appropriate clues from those parts. I can, however, give my contribution and ask others with other specialties for theirs, or they offer it to me by themselves. Withdrawing from a discussion just because my approach annoys you is not the way. You would leave public opinion as is instead of constructively influencing it by contributing your unique understanding of the matter. Of course it is easier to be annoyed, as I was too in my original post.

    Best regards,

  11. ok. hard stuff all of that… seeing exaggeration in confrontation I try not to escape by withdrawal but to come back to my original aims, here a condensed verbal “image” of my recent investigations:

    the man
    the head / the brain
    the genius
    the portrait / the mask
    the woman

    you can read it as you want, up or down or even change the terms & replace the genius by the child if you want. that´s all… good luck for the musicians who have obviously more possibilities to escape:
    “without music life is a mistake, hardship, an exile”, says Friedrich Nietsche.

  12. hi unas,
    I´ve posted up here a graphite drawing I sketched 2008 after a drawing done in the 90´s of the 18th century by GEORGE DANCE in London with the signature “Dr. Haydn” written under the portrait. (1957 bought at an auction at Sotheby´s London by the Viennese Museum) – it may express the vision of that person this artist evokes in you!

  13. Dear Unas and René,

    My wish to withdraw (with this exception) has very little to do with our conversation in specific, but everything to do with my own frustrations. In my daily work I am confronted with the traditional systems of education in preliminary- and secondary school, upper secondary and the vocational institutes of my home country, Finland, and the damages done to many youngsters with an artistic character or predisposition. Like in many other countries the theoretical subjects, reading, writing, languages, mathematics a s o for ages have been used as measurements for knowledge and intellect, leaving out the talent of the hand, the power of imagination, the bliss of creativity and the skills to approach life in the best way possible You can as an individual. The methods of evaluation strike me as narrow and unfair. “I am worthless” my adepts with learning disabilities say, “I can not read, I can not write and I can not count!”

    Still, when left alone for a moment with a guitar or some crayons they create miracles…

    Trying to build up a selfesteem in order to make the most of Your own situation as an adult after years of constant “failures” accordingly to the theoretical subjects – when it really is the educational system that fails to consider and safeguard the very personal gifts of the individual – is not easy. Great intellect or intelligence does not always come wrapped in a sophisticated language. Neither does true creativity or social skills.

    Unas, I agree with You on Haydn in comparison to Mozart, though. I’ve always thought of Haydn’s music as populistic and the “elevator music” of that time period, and I fully understand Your point of view regarding his so called genius. Without being sure of what You personally would consider as genius in terms of musicality, to me Joseph Haydn simply lacks “soul”.

    Don’t worry, partners in confrontation, I will be back on other subjects! 😉



  14. I like your sketch.

  15. Dear Anni,

    I know the system you describe from the other side. I have always been moderately successful at school, with my best subjects always being maths and foreign languages in which I practically had a subscription of the best mark which is called “1” in Austria. I concentrated so much on that system that you could say I did not pay enough attention to my creativity. After becoming a singer though, I have discovered something which gave me more fulfillment than any pure brain job could ever do. Two years of intense and hard work have given me a voice which you could call “not bad”, but what I lack is the ability to express myself, to enthrall my listeners, which is something people with far worse voices are much better at – and I am not even satisfied with my voice yet! So you see, this damage is also done in Austria. But expecting of a system to raise children well is wishing for Utopia. Because no one wants to do all the hard work which is necessary for discovering and adequately supporting children’s talents, they devise one system, apply it to all and never care for any single kid. It’s easier that way. Only bad thing is that you can practically ruin a brilliant mind which is highly specialized but not on what’s required in school.

    One composer who I regard as a genius is Tchaikovsky. His Sixth Symphony has so much “soul”, such infinitely sad music, you cannot help but be fascinated by it over and over again. And I also like composers like Caccini (“Amarilli, mia bella”, a song from Italy).

    Thanks for your last comment, it was an enlightening read.


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