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    Franz Joseph Haydn (/ ˈ h aɪ d ən /; German: [ˈfʁants ˈjoːzɛf ˈhaɪdn̩] (); 31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809) was an Austrian composer of the Classical period.He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio.

  2. Apr 02, 2014 · Franz Joseph Haydn was recruited at age 8 to the sing in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, where he went on to learn to play violin and keyboard. After he left the choir, he ...

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    Early life

    Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, a village that at that time stood on the border with Hungary. His father wasMathias Haydn, a wheelwright who also served as “Marktrichter”, an office akin to village mayor. Haydn’s mother Maria, née Koller, had previously worked as a cook in the palace of Count Harrach, the presiding aristocrat of Rohrau. Neither parent could read music; however, Mathias was an enthusiastic folk musician, who during the journeyman period of his career had taught himse...

    Struggles as a freelancer

    By 1749, Haydn had matured physically to the point that he was no longer able to sing high choral parts. Empress Maria Theresa herself complained to Reutter about his singing, calling it “crowing”. One day, Haydn carried out a prank, snipping off the pigtail of a fellow chorister. This was enough for Reutter: Haydn was first caned, then summarily dismissed and sent into the streets.He had the good fortune to be taken in by a friend, Johann Michael Spangler, who shared his family’s crowded gar...

    The years as Kapellmeister

    Haydn’s job title under Count Morzin was Kapellmeister, that is, music director. He led the count’s small orchestra and wrote his first symphonies for this ensemble. In 1760, with the security of a Kapellmeister position, Haydn married. His wife was the former Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller (1729–1800), the sister of Therese (b. 1733), with whom Haydn had previously been in love. Haydn and his wife had a completely unhappy marriage, from which the laws of the time permitted them no escap...

    James Webster writes of Haydn’s public character thus: “Haydn’s public life exemplified the Enlightenment ideal of the honnête homme (honest man): the man whose good character and worldly success enable and justify each other. His modesty and probity were everywhere acknowledged. These traits were not only prerequisites to his success as Kapellmeister, entrepreneur and public figure, but also aided the favorable reception of his music.” Haydn was especially respected by the Esterházy court musicians whom he supervised, as he maintained a cordial working atmosphere and effectively represented the musicians’ interests with their employer; see Papa Haydn and the tale of the “Farewell” Symphony. Haydn had a robust sense of humor, evident in his love of practical jokesand often apparent in his music, and he had many friends. For much of his life he benefited from a “happy and naturally cheerful temperament”,but in his later life, there is evidence for periods of depression, notably in th...

    James Webster summarizes Haydn’s role in the history of classical music as follows: “He excelled in every musical genre… He is familiarly known as the ‘father of the symphony’ and could with greater justice be thus regarded for the string quartet; no other composer approaches his combination of productivity, quality and historical importance in these genres.”

    Albert Christoph Dies: (German) Biographische Nachrichten von Joseph Haydn. Wien: Camesinaische Buchhandlung, 1810.
    Full text of the biography Haydn by J. Cuthbert Hadden, 1902, from Project Gutenberg. The end of book contains documentary material including a number of Haydn’s letters. Alternatively scanned copy...
    • Early Life
    • Musical Career
    • London
    • Death
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    Franz Joseph Haydn was born on March 31, 1732, in Rohrau, a small village in Austria. His father Mathias Haydn was a master wheelwright who loved music and often played the harp while his wife sang melodies. Haydn's mother Anna Maria Koller had been a cook for Count Karl Anton Harrach before she married Mathias. Haydn’s brother Michael also composed music and eventually became relatively famous. His youngest brother Johann Evangelist sang tenor in the church choir of the Esterhazy Court. As a child, Haydn had a spectacular voice and precise musicality. Johann Franc, impressed by Haydn’s voice, insisted that Haydn’s parents allow the youth to live with him and study music. Franc was a school principal and the choir directorof a church in Hainburg. Haydn’s parents allowed him to go in hopes that he would amount to something special. Haydn primarily studied music, but he also learned Latin, writing, arithmetic, and religion. Haydn spent most of his childhood singing in church choirs. H...

    After leaving school, Haydn earned a living as a freelance musician, music teacher, and composer. His first steady job came in 1757 when he was hired as music director for Count Morzin. Over time, his name and compositions became more recognizable. During his time with Count Morzin, Haydn wrote 15 symphonies, concertos, piano sonatas, and possibly his first two string quartets. He married Maria Anna Keller on November 26, 1760. In 1761, Haydn began his lifelong relationship with the wealthiest family among the Hungarian nobility, the Esterhazy family. Haydn spent nearly 30 years of his life in the family's employment. He was hired as vice-Kapellmeister, earning 400 gulden a year, and as time went on his salary increased as well as his ranking within the court. His music became widely popular. Though Haydn lived with the Esterhazy family at their remote estate, he occasionally visited Vienna, where he met and became friends with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The two greatly admired each o...

    Beginning in 1791, Haydn spent four years in London composing music and experiencing life outside the royal court. His time in London was the high point of his career. He earned nearly 24,000 gulden in a single year (the sum of his combined salary of nearly 20 years as Kapellmeister for the Esterhazy family). In London, Haydn wrote some of his most famous works, including the "Military," "Drumroll," "London," and "Miracle" symphonies. After returning to Vienna, Haydn spent some time tutoring a young Ludwig van Beethoven (who he had originally met on his trip to London). Haydn then returned to London for a second trip and debuted several new symphonies, which were warmly received by English audiences. In 1795, Haydn returned to Vienna and resumed his work for the Esterhazy family, now under the patronage of Nicolaus II. During this time he wrote a number of masses, along with the epic oratorios "The Creation" (based on the Book of Genesis) and "The Seasons."

    Haydn spent the last years of his life in Vienna composing only vocal pieces such as masses and oratorios. He passed away in the middle of the night on May 31, 1809, at the age of 77. Mozart’s Requiemwas performed at his funeral.

    Along with Mozart and Beethoven, Haydn is one of the most famous composers of the Classical period. He was wildly prolific, producing more than 100 symphonies, more than 60 string quartets, more than a dozen operas, and countless other works for chamber groups and symphonies alike. Much of Haydn's work is bright and cheerful, perhaps because it was written to be pleasing to the Esterhazy court; however, some works were written in a "Sturm und Drang" style that featured great drama and emotion. His later compositions were written in a popular style that incorporated elements of folk music.

    Heartz, Daniel. "Mozart, Haydn and Early Beethoven, 1781-1802." W. W. Norton & Company, 2009.
    Jones, David Wyn. "The Life of Haydn." Cambridge University Press, 2015.
    Stapert, Calvin. "Playing before the Lord: the Life and Work of Joseph Haydn." William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2014.
    • Music Expert
  3. Franz Joseph Haydn is the composer who, more than any other, epitomizes the aims and achievements of the Classical era. Perhaps his most important achievement was that he developed and evolved in countless subtle ways the most influential structural principle in the history of music: his perfection of the set of expectations known as sonata form made an epochal impact.

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