Austrian composer , brother of Michael Haydn. Neither he nor his contemporaries used the name Franz, and there is no reason to do so today. Famous as early as the mids, by the s he had become the most celebrated composer of his time, and from the s until his death was a culture-hero throughout Europe. He excelled in every musical genre; during the first half of his career his vocal works were as famous as his instrumental ones, although after his death the reception of his music focussed on the latter except for The Creation.
The primary sources comprise an autobiographical letter of and brief biographies published just after his death by in order of general reliability Georg August Griesinger, Albert Christoph Dies, Giuseppe Carpani and Nicolas Etienne Framery, supplemented by parish registers, musical archives, dated autographs and the like. Haydn was born into a family of primarily south German stock, albeit in an area of considerable ethnic diversity in which Croats and Hungarians were also prominent. His immediate ancestors were not peasants as legend has it , but artisans and tradespeople.
Rohrau was a possession of Count Karl Anton Harrach — ; his grandson Karl Leonhard — erected a monument to Haydn in the castle garden in Indeed all three of their surviving male children became professional musicians, two of them famous composers. It being clear that his abilities could not be developed in Rohrau, his parents agreed, whether in the hope that he might amount to something as a musician or the belief that musical and educational accomplishments might be useful in what they especially his mother imagined as his true calling, that of a priest.
The latter was scarcely an autodidact, as myth used to have it.
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Griesinger writes:. Georg Reutter the younger, Kapellmeister at the Stephansdom since later Hofkapellmeister , was travelling through the provinces in search of new talent; in Hainburg the parish priest, an old friend, suggested that Haydn might be a suitable candidate. According to several accounts Haydn did not know how to trill but, after Reutter demonstrated, triumphantly got it right on his third attempt, thus sealing his acceptance. To be sure, there was apparently little formal training in theory or composition, although the singing included solfeggio and the harpsichord instruction probably entailed figured bass.
In any case, his copy of Gradus is heavily annotated in Latin ; he made it the basis of his own teaching of composition, as did Mozart. Another activity entrusted to competent older choirboys was the instruction of their younger colleagues in musical fundamentals; among those whom Haydn taught was his brother Michael, who joined him there about Most important, for ten full years, at a highly impressionable age, Haydn rehearsed and sang in performances of the greatest art-music then being produced in Catholic Europe, amid the pomp and splendour of the cathedral and court of an imperial capital.
This experience will have fundamentally shaped his musical intellect even without formal training in composition. But this life could not last; his voice broke. Be this as it may, soon after his voice broke he was dismissed from the choir school. When my voice finally broke, for eight whole years I was forced to eke out a wretched existence by teaching young people.
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Many geniuses are ruined by this miserable [need to earn their] daily bread, because they lack time to study. This could well have happened to me; I would never have achieved what little I have done, had I not carried on with my zeal for composition during the night. I composed diligently, but not quite correctly, until I finally had the good fortune to learn the true fundamentals of composition from the famous Porpora who was in Vienna at the time. This period comprises three stages, of which the first two overlap without clear division.
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Even then, however, he was reaping professional and social advantage from contact with figures such as Porpora and Metastasio. It was perhaps in the following spring that he journeyed to the huge Benedictine pilgrimage church in Mariazell Styria. Here occurred the first of many strokes of luck through which, in addition to his genius and unremitting labour, he gradually improved his professional lot.
In the same house … lived as well the famous poet Metastasio. Porpora was teaching singing to the mistress of the Venetian ambassador, Correr; however, because he was too proper and too fond of his ease to accompany at the piano himself, he delegated this task to our Giuseppe. Access to such personages — whose overlapping relations were as much social as artistic — was essential for an aspiring young musician. At the court of Joseph Friedrich, Prince of Sachsen-Hildburghausen —87 , Haydn could also have encountered Dittersdorf whom he certainly knew by the mids and Giuseppe Bonno, later Hofkapellmeister.
All these events took place during the first half of the s. Indeed Griesinger speaks more plausibly of compositions:. Neither libretto nor music of this, his earliest stage work, survives; a libretto does survive for a later version of , often called Der neue krumme Teufel , but, again, there is no music.
It has been speculated that many anonymous numbers in contemporary Viennese collections of theatrical songs stem from this work or others that Haydn might have composed, although documentation is lacking. At first Haydn received only two gulden a month for giving lessons, but gradually the price rose to five gulden, so that he was able to look about for more suitable quarters. Important as well was the elder Countess Maria Christine Thun, who according to Framery took singing and keyboard lessons from Haydn.
His freelance activities continued apace. He was paid 17 kreutzer for each service. Both Griesinger and Dies supply the obligatory comic anecdotes involving Haydn and Dittersdorf. According to an account by a Prussian prisoner of war, he participated in chamber-music parties arranged by Count Harrach at Rohrau. The quintet-divertimento h II:2 survives in a later source dated , and many of his ensemble divertimentos probably date from before Of the ten or so pre- keyboard trios and the 21 or so string trios, the earliest also may date from the mids, although others are from the early s.
Mass in C major, Hob.XXII:8 (Haydn, Joseph)
The following, purely coincidental circumstance led him to try his hand at the composition of quartets. Haydn, who was then 18, accepted the proposal, and so originated his first quartet [incipit of h III:1], which, immediately upon its appearance, received such uncommon applause as to encourage him to continue in this genre.
Here he was finally able to enjoy the happiness of a carefree existence; he was quite contented. As music director in the service of Count Morzin Haydn composed his first symphony [incipit of no. Moreover, Haydn himself in old age organized a list of his symphonies according to ten-year periods: —67 , —77 etc. Be all this as it may, the free-spending Count Morzin soon had to dissolve his little musical establishment. The bride was the daughter of the wigmaker Johann Peter Keller, who is said variously to have assisted him in his years of poverty or employed him as a music teacher.
Monthly Music List — The London Oratory
The early biographers relate that in the mids Haydn had fallen in love with her younger sister Therese b , who however was compelled by her devout parents to enter a nunnery in , taking her formal vows in It has been speculated that he composed the Salve regina in E and perhaps the Organ Concerto in C on the latter occasion.
Whether the speculation continues out of continuing gratitude to the Kellers or owing to a psychological displacement of his own affections, he married the elder sister four years later. However, its scope is uneven: although the archives are informative regarding theatrical activities, entertainments for noble visitors, personnel, payments for services, petitions etc.
Paul, who from to was ambassador in Naples and travelled widely elsewhere, collected a large quantity of vocal and instrumental music he had a catalogue made during the period —62 ; it lists one symphony by Haydn, acquired in By about Werner was becoming infirm and his musical orientation increasingly conservative; Paul set about modernizing and enlarging the establishment, appointing several new musicians before recruiting Haydn and others in Although the contract is dated 1 May , Haydn may have begun working for the court earlier that year. Hence he may well have selected most or all of the musicians hired from April on, and so helped to shape the newly constituted orchestra himself.
He had full authority over the musicians, both professionally and in terms of their behaviour; but he was close to many of them personally as well, often serving as godfather to their children. Despite the immense labour and considerable tribulation this position entailed, Haydn must have known that it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Paul Anton, already in uncertain health in , declined rapidly in early and died on 18 March. Childless, he was succeeded by his brother Nicolaus, an even more enthusiastic musician, who harboured even grander designs for the physical and artistic development of the court.
The musical ensemble was at first very small, normally comprising 13 to 15 players of whom many performed on more than one instrument : strings approximately 6 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 bass , 2 oboes, 2 horns and a bassoon plus a flute in certain works or movements. Haydn led from the violin; no keyboard continuo was employed except in the theatre. Beginning in the s, the ensemble was gradually enlarged, owing primarily to the increasing importance of the court opera; at its height in the s it counted 22—4 members. Especially at first, it was manned largely by virtuosos including Luigi Tomasini, violin, Joseph Weigl and later Anton Kraft, cello, Carl Franz, horn and baryton , some of whom remained at the court for decades.
Indeed symphonies nos. But Haydn was also demonstrating his own prowess: although the topics were traditional, the works have no precedent, either generally or in his own output. During the first half of the s Haydn composed chiefly instrumental music, as far as we know exclusively for performance at court.
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His most productive genre was the symphony, with about 25 works; in addition to nos. The concertos include two or three for violin, the Cello Concerto in C, a concerto for violone the first ever composed, as far as is known , two horn concertos and one for two horns, one for flute and perhaps one for bassoon; many of them are lost.
Only a few keyboard works are known, primarily trios and quartet divertimentos; there are also a few ensemble divertimentos as well as minuets and other dances.
His contract required him to appear every morning and afternoon to see if music was desired, although a later document specified that academies were to be given regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. From to Nicolaus lived primarily in Eisenstadt, with frequent shorter stays at other properties. He was seriously ill in the winter of —5 ; the following year his brother Johann was engaged, nominally as a tenor but de facto charitably supported by Haydn.
First came a series of crises in his relations with the prince. In September the flautist Franz Sigl accidentally burnt down a house; the chief court administrator, Ludwig Peter Rahier with whom Haydn often clashed , recommended that Sigl be imprisoned, and Haydn was reprimanded by the prince. In October, Werner, having just signed his last will, wrote a vituperative letter to the prince in which he accused Haydn of neglecting the instruments and musical archives and the supervision of the singers.
In late November or early December Nicolaus again sent Haydn a reprimand perhaps drafted by Rahier , instructing him to see to these matters and to prepare a catalogue of the archives and instruments of the Chor-Musique. Haydn, though doubtless angry and dismayed, at once began to compose baryton trios in quantity.
Thereafter production dropped off somewhat, though remaining steady into the mids, for a total of trios plus sundry other works. On 3 March Werner died; Haydn was now Kapellmeister, responsible for the church music as well as everything else. It was presumably this higher status his salary did not change that induced him in May to purchase a house in Eisenstadt now a Haydn museum. In addition to the upsurge in baryton music, in he began to compose large-scale vocal works, both sacred and secular.
In the former domain he at once produced two works on the largest scale, with an astonishing assurance of style and technique for someone who had composed no church music for a decade. Its original purpose is unknown; Haydn was confident enough to send it to Hasse, earning a letter of praise that he much valued, and he performed it in Vienna in March The celebratory cantata Applausus was commissioned in honour of the abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Zwettl; because Haydn was unable to be present, he accompanied the work with a long and informative letter on performing practice.
The work was a notable success; a review praised the choruses in particular and referred to his growing international reputation. Hexenschabbas , another marionette opera from about this time, is lost. During the late s and early s Haydn continued to compose instrumental works, albeit at a slower rate than before except during the operatic hiatus of — But they became longer, more passionate and more daring. The symphonies comprise nos. He also took up the string quartet, not cultivated since the s, producing three increasingly imposing opera in rapid succession: op.
He also composed numerous keyboard sonatas for connoisseurs: h XVI , 19 , 46 late s , 20 in C minor, , as well as seven lost works and one that survives only as a fragment h XVI:2a—g, XIV:5 which, to judge from the incipits, were on the same scale. A few concertos date from this period as well. Many of these works are so bold and expressive that in the 20th century they became subsumed under the appellation Sturm und Drang. It has been speculated that Haydn supplied incidental music for these productions including even Hamlet and King Lear and that some Sturm und Drang symphonies recycle this music, although the only documented example is Symphony no.
The string quartet was abandoned. Both the symphonies of —5 nos.