Dreaming of Figaro

By 1790, Haydn has become dissatisfied with life at Eszterhaza.  On 9th February he wrote:

Well! I sit in my wilderness; forsaken, like some poor orphan, almost without human society; melancholy, dwelling on the memory of past glorious days.  Yes; past, alas! And who can tell when these happy hours may return?  Those charming meetings?  Where the whole circle have but one heart and one soul – all those delightful musical evenings, which can only be remembered, and not described.  Where are all those inspired moments?  All gone – and gone for long … I found everything at home in confusion; for three days I did not know whether I was capell master or capell servant; nothing could console me; my apartments were all in confusion; my pianoforte, that I formerly loved so dearly, was perverse and disobedient, and rather irritated rather than soothed me, for, while asleep I was under the pleasant delusion that I was listening to the opera Le Nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro], when the blustering north wind woke me, and almost blew my nightcap off my head.


Landon, H. C. Robbins (1955) The Symphonies of Joseph Haydn. London: Universal Edition and Rockliff, pp. 428-9.  Cited in: Barrett-Ayres, Reginald (1974) Joseph Haydn and the String Quartet.  London: Barrie & Jenkins, pp.229-30.