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Composer's Notes

Ravel's Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn was one of a handful of hommages written for the hundredth centenary of the great composer's death in 1909. It is a slight, charming little number, deftly working a 5-note motif derived from the musical letters in Haydn's name (how they managed Y and N is mysterious!).

I jumped eagerly at Christopher Hogwood's suggestion that it might go nicely for Haydn-sized orchestra. But he didn't suggest what I've also done, which is to more -or -less double the length of the original by means of varied repeats, extensions of phrases, etc.

The ending, in particular, is greatly drawn out. The idiom for these additions isn't pastiche exactly; faithful in spirit, if not in letter, to a composer who claimed that the best lessons lie in imitation of admired models.

Robin Holloway 2003

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