SOURCE: cropped scan (600 dpi) of p. 1; Edition Peters no. 4894 (Pl no. 30053), pub. 1959.
Although this appeared as recently as 1959, it is—as the note says—the first time this work was published in score. It was published in parts by Artaria in March 1785. As with many Haydn symphonies, the autograph score is lost. Here, from H. C. Robbins Landon’s monumental tome on Haydn’s symphonies, is a list of the autographs whose whereabouts were known at that time (1955):
|SOURCE: cropped scan of Landon, The Symphonies of Joseph Haydn, pp. 27-28|
To return to Symphony 79: when I found this score on my shelf, I had just acquired an excellent new recording of this symphony. I was home one day when the kids were out at lunchtime, so I set the score on the table and put on the disc. I hadn’t even taken a bite before I was interrupted by a textual discrepancy. Here is the whole of the first page in Lassen’s edition:
|SOURCE: as above, less cropped|
Here are the horn parts of the first few bars in a composite, comparing Lassen’s edition with the only other two (scpreditions this work has yet received—the Philharmonia edition which followed it by a few years, edited by H. C. Robbins Landon, and the much more recent JHW:
|SOURCE: Landon's edition, because Lassen has a page-turn that would obscure my point.|
Lassen lists only two sources, but gives no detail about how these were used, nor any variant readings:
|SOURCE: cropped scan of Critical Commentary to Landon's edition, vol. 8, p. LXVI, with my emphasis added.|
But I think they are wrong on this point: Landon could very easily have devised the same editorial adjustments that Lassen had reasonably made. Moreover, editors always go out of their way to point out how their edition is better than their predecessors. Landon doesn’t mention bar 4 at all in his commentary; JHW does mention bar 4, but has nothing to say about Horn II. I argue from silence here, but it seems clear to me that neither of them ever noticed the erroneous reading that Lassen transmitted in b. 4. If they had, they would have told us.
Lassen’s edition is not an authoritative source, and there’s no reason that either Landon or JHW needed to consult it. Clearly JHW did consult it, and I submit that the lack of a comment on b. 4 suggests that they did not do the due diligence required to make the assertion that Landon had cut some editorial corners. The silence is telling.