Haydn and Mozart Scholar Dies at 83

Friday, November 27, 2009

H.C. Robbins Landon, a Haydn and Mozart scholar, died Friday at age 83.

Landon died in Rabastens, near Toulouse, France, according to The New York Times.

He attended Boston University (BU) from 1945-7, and later was a music critic for American newspapers including Musical America in England, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary, according to the BU Libraries

Landon studied Joseph Haydn after he got access to archives in Europe through U.S. Army contacts. He edited and published the complete Haydn symphonies as well as the five-volume Haydn: Chronicle and Works in 1976 and numerous other monographs and articles concerning the composer.

In 1949, he founded the Haydn Society in Boston and Vienna. The society produced recordings of previously unrecorded works, according to The Times. The recordings included Haydn symphonies and Masses, and Mozart’s “Idomeneo” and Mass in C minor.

Landon decided to write a book on Mozart, 1791, in response to Peter Shaffer's Amadeus in 1984, according to The Mozart Project. "The truth is often more gripping than even the most carefully conceived and delicately executed fantasy," Landon wrote in his book notes.

Landon is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Boston University in 1969. Horns in High C: A Memoir of Musical Discoveries and Adventures is the title of his 1999 memoir.

He is survived by his long-time companion, Marie-Noëlle Raynal-Bechetoille, and his ex-wife Else Radant, a historian. His first wife, Christa Landon, a harpsichordist, died in a plane crash in 1977.

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