Archangel Raphael and Young Tobias,
an unknown Lombard painter (17th century)
1774 Joseph Haydn was commissioned by the Tonkünstler
Society in Vienna to compose a piece of music which
would be performed at two benefit concerts for the financial
support of widows and orphans of musicians. The resulting
oratorio was very well received at its premiere, but
due in part to its length (more than three hours)
it quickly fell out of favor with Viennese audiences
and faded into obscurity.
it seems that this particular oratorio is enjoying renewed
popularity. At the 2009 Haydn festival in England early
this year, the kick-off event was a performance of this
long-forgotten work by Joseph Haydn. It’s name?
Il ritorno di Tobia. The Return of Tobias.
course the title character is actually “young
Tobias” who we now know as Geoffrey, rather than
his father Tobit, who we now know as Tobias of the Crimson
Council. But this is indeed a year of returning and
it seems fitting that this story has recently found
its way back into mainstream consciousness.
to the remarkable amount of time it takes to listen
to the oratorio? Well, it seems that concertgoers and
Shaumbra alike have finally accepted the fact that Tobias’
stories always take a little extra time!
some interesting facts about The Return of Tobias,
see the links below. There is even an upcoming
performance of the oratorio scheduled in Heidelberg,
Germany on May 24th. And of course, don’t miss
the modern day Return of Tobias, celebrated by Shaumbra
in Breckenridge, CO, July this year.
below for more interesting facts about Haydn’s
The Return of Tobias.