Johann Peter Salomon’s Scores of Four Haydn Symphonies 1791-1792 - Edition with Commentary

Author: Ruhling, Michael E.
When the violinist and orchestra leader Johann Peter Salomon invited Joseph Haydn to London as the featured composer for his public concert series in 1791-92 and again in 1794-95, he could not have imagined the significance these concerts would assume in the history of orchestral performance, nor could he have foreseen that the twelve symphonies Haydn wrote for his orchestra would become important models of the mature Classical symphonic style. In light of the historical significance of the concerts and symphonies composed for them, considerable effort has gone into understanding the complex web of interrelationships of contemporary sources for these “London” symphonies. H. C. Robbins Landon’s monumental study in the 1950s and ‘60s, followed by the more recent critical scores compiled by the editors of the Joseph Haydn Werke, have answered many of the questions regarding the authenticity of the many sources, including Haydn’s autograph scores, score and part copies made by Haydn’s amanuensis Johann Elssler, and early printed parts by various publishers. In the early 1980s, Arthur Searle and A. Hyatt King uncovered Salomon’s own scores for the twelve “London” symphonies among the Royal Philharmonic Society Collection of the British Library. Haydn’s autograph scores of two of the symphonies from his first trip to London were bound with score copies of the other four from this trip. These four score copies were made sometime between 1792 and 1794 from Salomon’s performance parts rather than other scores, and thus reflect the details of the early performances in London under Salomon’s leadership, quite possibly even their premières.

This book presents these significant scores in a modern edition that is suitable for scholars and performers. Copious critical notes and discussions of various aspects of the manuscripts, including physical descriptions, and their provenance and relationship to other contemporary sources, will be most enlightening for musicologists interested in Haydn source materials. Conductors will find that the careful, clear editing of the scores can easily translate to performance. In addition, the description of important performance aspects found in Salomon’s scores, but not all other authentic sources, will reveal to scholar and conductor musical details that were likely part of the earliest performances of these works in London, but have not been included in other modern editions.


“Dr. Michael Ruhling traces the history of these fascinating scores, examining the myriad of details that reflect their striking resemblance to Haydn's own autographs. He reveals that Salomon's scores preserve numerous details of articulation, phrasing, even of note material that are absent from the autographs; and adduces Salomon's later quintet arrangements of the symphonies, wherein the same details are duplicated, as evidence of the sound and manner that shaped the works at their earliest performances. Dr. Ruhling concludes his study with first-ever editions of Salomon's score copies. Handsomely engraved and meticulously documented, these editions present a delight to the eye as well as a provocation to thoughtful study.” – (From the Commendatory Preface) Charles H. Sherman, Ph.D, University of Missouri

“Dr. Ruhling has done a remarkable job of presenting the results of his work in a music copy that is clear and easily readable while at the same time projects as much as might be possible of the original source….The Critical Notes in his edition not only serve to document the source situation, but also add explanation (or even suggested interpretation) when appropriate…..Dr. Ruhling has achieved his goal of making his edition useful to both the performer and the scholar – not as easy a task as some might assume….[His] commentary is very informative and useful. He has addressed the important issues of authenticity dating, and provenance with a clearly project logic. I find his argument to be sound and well-supported…..this is an excellent project, carried out in a professional manner.” – Sterling Murray, President of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music and Chair of Professor of Music History, West Chester University

“[As] a former conductor-musicologist, I see that these attractive scores would allow me to sit in the seat of Salomon with direct access to the Master. With them I could prepare a performance based upon the best source material and at the same time adapt it to my own creative urges as well as the practicalities of the situation….through his meticulous edition with its copious editorial comments, Dr. Ruhling has provided for both the scholar and the conductor [a work] in a way that has not, to my knowledge, previously existed.” – Paul R. Bryan, Duke University

Table of Contents

Commendatory Preface
Description and Dating
Relationships to Other Sources
Select Performance Aspects
Editorial Method
Symphony in C (Salomon No. 1, Hob. I: 97)
Symphony in D (Salomon No. 2, Hob. I: 93)
Symphony in G (Salomon No. 3, Hob. I: 94)
Symphony in B-flat (Salomon No. 4, Hob. I: 98)
Critical Notes