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A death in Haydn Year

November 24, 2009 by Norman Lebrecht

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H C Robbins Landon – who did for Haydn what Alexander Wheelock Thayer, a fellow-American, once did for Beethoven – has died at his home in France, aged 83.

A jovial fellow who liked to frolic naked in his pool with research assistants and guests (or so he told the press), Robbie got on the Haydn trail in Austria as an occupying US soldier and spent the rest of his life digging out manuscripts from disused monasteries and seeing them through to performance at the Musikverireinsaal and Carnegie Hall. He once hoaxed the BBC with a Haydn fake, but that’s another story…

All Haydn works carry H numbers, after an obssessive Dutch collector, Antony van Hoboken. I propose we change those to H C numbers.

First report here. Pictures here.


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