Haydn - Symphonies nos. 78-81Decca Records
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By the early 1780s, Haydn's fame had reached all corners of Europe. On January 1, 1779 he had signed a new contract with Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, for the first time explicitly allowing him to accept outside commissions and to enter into negotiations with publishers, thus making official a situation that had more or less unofficially existed for some years. Symphonies 76–78 (1782) were the first works Haydn expressly fashioned for international consumption - for a proposed visit to London that ultimately fell through. In offering the three new symphonies to the publisher Boyer of Paris, he described them as "beautiful, elegant and by no means over-long … all very easy" - very much characteristic of the sales-talk he would increasingly employ in his dealings with publishers.
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