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Franz Joseph Haydn

Over the course of his 106 symphonies, Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn became the principal
architect of the classical style of music.

Franz Joseph Haydn was among the creators of the fundamental genres of classical music, and his
influence upon later composers is immense. Haydns most celebrated pupil was Ludwig van Beethoven,
and his musical form casts a huge shadow over the music of subsequent composers such as Schubert,
Mendelssohn and Brahms.

Early Life
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 supported himself by
teaching and playing violin, while studying counterpoint and harmony.

Haydn soon became an assistant to composer Nicola Porpora in exchange for lessons, and in 1761 he was
named Kapellmeister, or "court musician," at the palace of the influential Esterhzy family, a position that
would financially support him for nearly 30 years. Isolated at the palace from other composers and
musical trends, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original."

The Mature Artist


While Haydn rose in the Esterhzy family's esteem, his popularity outside the palace walls also increased,
and he eventually wrote as much music for publication as for the family. Several important works of this
period were commissions from abroad, such as the Paris symphonies (1785-1786) and the original
orchestral version of "The Seven Last Words of Christ" (1786). Haydn came to feel sequestered and
lonely, however, missing friends back in Vienna, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, so in 1791, when a
new Esterhzy prince let Haydn go, he quickly accepted an invitation to go to England to conduct new
symphonies.

Audiences flocked to Haydn's concerts, and during his time in England he generated some of his bestknown work, including the "Rider" quartet and the Surprise, Military, Drumroll and London symphonies.

Later Years
Haydn returned to Vienna in 1795 and took up his former position with the Esterhzys, although only
part-time. At this point, he was a public figure in Vienna, and when he wasn't at home composing, he was
making frequent public appearances. With his health failing, his creative spirit outlasted his ability to
harness it, and he died at age 77.

Haydn is remembered as the first great symphonist and the composer who essentially invented the string
quartet. The principal engineer of the classical style, Haydn exerted influence on the likes of Mozart, his
student Ludwig van Beethoven and scores of others.

Compositions
Haydn wrote 107 symphonies in total, as well as 83 string quartets, 45 piano trios, 62 piano sonatas, 14
masses and 26 operas, amongst countless other scores. Here are some of the examples:
Haydn: The Creation
The Creation is an oratorio written between 1797 and 1798 and considered by many to be his
masterpiece. The oratorio depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the Book of
Genesis and Paradise Lost.
Il mondo della luna
Il mondo della luna, Hob. 28/7, is an opera buffa by Joseph Haydn with a libretto written by Carlo
Goldoni in 1750, first performed at Eszterhza, Hungary, on 3 August 1777.Trumpet Concerto
Joseph Haydn's Concerto per il Clarino, was written in 1796 for his long-time friend Anton Weidinger.
Joseph Haydn was 64 years of age.
String Quartets, Op. 76
The six String Quartets, Op. 76 by Joseph Haydn were composed in 1796 or 1797 and dedicated to the
Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erddy. They form the last complete set of string quartets that Haydn
composed.
Cello Concerto no. 1
The Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb/1, by Joseph Haydn was composed around 1761-65 for
longtime friend Joseph Franz Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterhzy Orchestra.
The Seven Last Words of Christ
The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On the Cross is an orchestral work by Joseph Haydn,
commissionedin 1783 for the Good Friday service at Oratorio de la Santa Cueva in Cdiz, Spain.
Piano Sonata Hob. XVI/52
The Piano Sonata in E-flat major, Hob. XVI/52, L. 62, was written in 1794 by Joseph Haydn. It is the last
of Haydn's piano sonatas, and is widely considered his greatest.
Missa in Angustiis
The Missa in Angustiis or Nelson Mass, is one of fourteen masses written by Joseph Haydn. It is one of
the six masses written near the end of his life which are, together, now seen as a culmination of Haydn's
liturgical composition.
Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo
The Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, Hob. XXII:7, Novello 8, is a mass in B-flat major by Joseph
Haydn. The missa brevis was written around 1775 for the order of the Barmherzige Brder in Eisenstadt,
whose patron saint was St. John of God.
Armida

Armida, Hob. XXVIII/12, is an opera in three acts by Joseph Haydn, set to a libretto based upon Torquato
Tasso's poem Gerusalemme liberata.
L'incontro improvviso
Lincontro improvviso is an opera in three acts by Joseph Haydn first performed at Eszterhza on 29
August 1775 to mark the four-day visit of Archduke Ferdinand, Habsburg governor of Milan and his
consort Maria Beatrice d'Este.
L'isola disabitata
L'isola disabitata, Hob. 28/9, is an opera by Joseph Haydn, his tenth opera, written for the Eszterhzy
court and premiered on 6 December 1779.
La fedelt premiata
La fedelt premiata, Hob. XXVIII/10, is an opera in three acts by Joseph Haydn first performed at
Eszterhza on 25 February 1781 to celebrate the reopening of the court theatre after a fire. It was revised
for a new version first performed in 1782.
etc.