Love for “Teach”: To Haydn from Mozart
Let’s reminisce on one the classical world’s greatest bromances. This letter from Mozart to his teacher, mentor and beloved friend Haydn is a famous dedication of the six Haydn Quartets. When you’re done reading, or better yet, while you’re reading, have a listen to the first movement of String Quartet no. 18, K. 464.
To my dear friend Haydn,
A father, having decided to send his children out into the wide world, felt that he should entrust them to the protection and guidance of a famous Man who by good fortune also was his best Friend. Here they are, distinguished Man and dearest Friend, my six children. They are, to be truthful, the fruit of long and laborious efforts; however, the hope given me by various Friends that my efforts will be at least somewhat rewarded encourages and flatters me to think that this offspring will be of comfort to me someday. You yourself, dearest friend, told me of your approbation of them during your last Visit here in our Capital. This acceptance gives me the courage to commend them to you and make me hope that they would not be completely unworthy of your favor. May it please you to welcome them kindly and to be for them a Father, Guide, and Friend! From this moment on I hand over to you all my rights in them, begging you, however, to consider with indulgence their flaws, which a Father’s uncritical eye may have overlooked, and in spite of them continue your generous Friendship toward one who so greatly appreciates it, while I remain, Dearest Friend, with all my heart, your most Sincere Friend,