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Franz Joseph Haydn (Composer)

Haydn, Franz Joseph (b Rohrau, 1732; d Vienna, 1809). Austrian-born composer of pure Ger. stock. The son of a farmer-wheelwright, Haydn showed immediate mus. precocity and at the age of 5 was given into the care of a Hainburg schoolmaster called Franck, who taught him the rudiments of mus. At 8 went to Vienna as choirboy at St Stephen‘s. When his v. broke at 17, he lived in poverty as a teacher and became accompanist and servant to the It. composer and teacher Porpora. He worked for two aristocratic patrons in 1750s, and in 1761 was engaged as vice-Kapellmeister at Eisenstadt, Hungary, by Prince Paul Esterházy. Haydn remained with the Esterházy household for 30 years, for both Prince Paul and his successor Prince Nikolaus, who reigned from 1762 to 1790, were passionate mus.-lovers. In 1766 Nikolaus built the palace of Eszterháza (modelled on Versailles) on the south side of the Neusiedlersee, spending the greater part of each year in this isolated home. Haydn‘s art benefited from this seclusion. ‘There was no one near to confuse me, so I was forced to become original’, he said. His duties were numerous; besides administrative work and caring for the court musicians, he cond. the orchestra, arr. and dir. operatic perfs., played in chamber mus., and produced a stream of works in many genres, incl. incidental mus. for plays, to please his patron. Haydn‘s fame spread from Eszterháza throughout Austria, Ger., and It. as his syms. were pubd. Fr. edns. of his works began to appear in the 1760s and later in London. In 1785 he was commissioned by Cadiz to compose an oratorio without words on the Saviour‘s 7 Last Words, and by the Parisian soc. Concert de la Loge Olympique to compose 6 syms. By this time he had become friends with Mozart, for whom he had the highest admiration. Their works from this date (1781) betray mutual influence. Haydn‘s life at Eszterháza ended in 1790 when Prince Nikolaus died and his successor dismissed the musicians, though leaving Haydn his salary and title. Haydn left the castle for Vienna where he accepted an invitation from the impresario J. P. Salomon to visit London. He stayed in England from 1 Jan. 1791 to the middle of 1792, being fêted, lionized, and entertained by royalty. He comp. syms. 93-98 on this visit, when he was deeply impressed by the 1791 Handel Fest. in Westminster Abbey. In July 1791 the hon. degree of D.Mus. was conferred on him by Oxford Univ. On his return to Vienna he bought a house there and accepted Beethoven as a pupil, an uneasy relationship for both great men. In 1794 he visited Eng. again, having been commissioned by Salomon to write 6 new syms. This 2nd visit lasted from Feb. 1794 to Aug. 1795 and was even more successful artistically and, especially, financially than the first. The Esterházy family had now reconstituted their mus. est., but Haydn comp. only for special occasions and was allowed to concentrate on his work as a composer. Between 1796 and 1802 he wrote 6 magnificent settings of the Mass. In 1797 he comp. his Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser, which was adopted as Austria‘s nat. anthem. But his chief pre-occupation at this time was his oratorio Die Schöpfung (The Creation), f.p. privately in Vienna, 1798. This was followed by Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons), f.p. 1801. From then on, Haydn‘s health began to fail and, though he made several more public appearances, he died during the Fr. occupation of Vienna.

If Haydn‘s life was comparatively uneventful, his vast output of mus. is notable for the number of delights and surprises contained in almost every work. Yet though the number and magnitude of Haydn masterpieces are constantly amazing, his mus. for long failed to exert as powerful a sway over the public as that of Mozart and Beethoven. He is regarded as the ‘father’ of the sym. (which he was not) and of the str. qt., but some treasurable Haydn lies in his vocal mus., in his oratorios, masses, and in his operas (which are still in process of re-discovery). In all his mus. his inventive flair seems inexhaustible. He delighted in exploiting the capabilities of solo instr. and virtuoso performers, and every genre in which he worked he enlarged, extended, and re-shaped. The syms. are a remarkable example of his development of a particular form, hallmarked by deep feeling, drama, elegance, wit, and, in the final 12, a Mozartian perfection of all these qualities combined. But much the same can be said of the qts. and masses; nor should the kbd. sonatas be overlooked.

The cataloguing of Haydn‘s works has been the object of considerable scholarship. It was begun in 1766 by Haydn himself, aided by the Esterházy court copyist Joseph Elssler, whose son Johann (1769-1843) later became Haydn‘s copyist and faithful servant. Haydn worked on this list until about 1805. Pohl prepared a MS catalogue, and for the Breitkopf and Härtel complete edn. Mandyczewski assembled his list of 104 syms. (omitting 3 now acknowledged as such). Modern scholarship, led by H. C. Robbins Landon, has amended this list, and a thematic catalogue has been ed. by Hoboken in which works are given Hob. nos. in the manner of Köchel‘s Mozart catalogue.

Haydn‘s works are too numerous to be listed in full detail. The following is a concise list of the prin. comps.:

OPERAS: 20 were comp., some of the first being lost. The extant 15 incl. La Canterina (1766); Lo Speziale (1768); Le Pescatrici (1769); L‘infedeltà delusa (1773); L‘incontro improvviso (1775); Il mondo della luna (1777); La vera costanza (1777-8, rev. 1785); L‘isola disabitata (1779, rev. 1802); La fedeltà premiata (1780, rev. 1782); Orlando Paladino (1782); Armida (1783); Orfeo ed Euridice (1791); also 5 puppet operas incl. Philemon und Baucis (1773) and Dido (1776).

MASSES: No.1 in F (Missa brevis) (1750); No.2 in Eb (Grosse Orgelmesse) (1766); No.3 in C (St Cecilia) (1776); No.4 in G (1772); No.5 in Bb (Kleine Orgelmesse) (c.1775); No.6 in C (Mariazellermesse) (1782); No.7 in C (In tempore belli—Paukenmesse) (1796); No.8 in Bb (Heiligmesse) (1796); No.9 in D minor (Nelson) (1798); No.10 in Bb (Theresien-messe) (1799); No.11 in Bb (Schöpfungsmesse) (1801); No.12 in Bb (Harmoniemesse) (1802). Also Mass in G (c.1750).

CANTATAS & ORATORIOS: Stabat Mater (1767); Applausus (1768); Il Ritorno di Tobia (1774-5); Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuz (The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, 1st version (str. qt.) 1785, choral version 1795-6); Die Schöpfung (The Creation) (1796-8); Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons) (1799-1801).

SYMPHONIES: Nos. 1-5 (1757); No.6 in D (Le Matin), No.7 in C (Le Midi), No.8 in G (Le Soir) (c.1761); No.9 in C (c.1762); No.10 in D (c.1761); No.11 in Eb (c.1760); No.12 in E, No.13 in D (1763); No.14 in A, No.15 in D (1764); No.16 in Bb, No.17 in F, No.18 in G, No.19 in D, No.20 in C (all before 1766, prob. 1761-2); No.21 in A, No.22 in Eb (The Philosopher), No. 23 in G, No.24 in D (1764); No.25 in C (c.1761-3); No.26 in D minor (Lamentatione) (c.1770); No.27 in G (c.1760); No.28 in A, No.29 in E, No.30 in C (Alleluia), No.31 in D (Horn Signal) (1765); No.32 in C, No.33 in C (c.1760); No.34 in D minor (c.1766); No.35 in Bb (1767); No.36 in Eb (c.1761-5); No.37 in C (c.1757); No.38 in C (Echo) (c.1766-8); No.39 in G minor (c.1768); No.40 in F (1763); No.41 in C (c.1769); No.42 in D (1771); No.43 in Eb (Merkur), No.44 in E minor (Trauer) (c.1771); No.45 in F# minor (Abschied), No.46 in B, No.47 in G (1772); No.48 in C (Maria Theresia) (c.1768-9); No.49 in F minor (La Passione) (1768); No.50 in C (1773); No.51 in Bb, No.52 in C minor (c. 1771-3); No.53 in D (L‘Impériale) (c.1780); No. 54 in G, No.55 in Eb (Der Schulmeister), No.56 in C (1774); No.57 in D (1774); No.58 in F, No.59 in A (Feuersymphonie) (c.1776-8); No.60 in C (Il Distratto) (1774); No.61 in D (1776); No.62 in D, No.63 in C (La Roxolane) (c.1780); No.64 in A (c.1775); No.65 in A (c.1771-3); No.66 in Bb, No.67 in F, No.68 in Bb, No.69 in C (Laudon) (c.1778); No.70 in D (1779); No.71 in Bb (c.1779-80); No.72 in D (c.1763-5); No.73 in D (La Chasse) (1780-1); No.74 in Eb (1780); No.75 in D (1779); No.76 in Eb, No.77 in Bb, No.78 in C minor (1782); No.79 in F, No.80 in D minor, No.81 in G (1783-4); No. 82 in C (Bear) (1786); No.83 in G minor (La Poule) (1785); No.84 in Eb (1786); No.85 in Bb (La Reine) (1785); No.86 in D (1786); No.87 in A (1785); No.88 in G, No.89 in F (c.1787); No.90 in C, No.91 in Eb (1788); No.92 in G (Oxford) (1789); No.93 in D, No.94 in G (Surprise), No.95 in C minor, No.96 in D (Miracle) (1791, London); No.97 in C (1792, London); No.98 in Bb (c.1792, London); No.99 in Eb (1793, Austria); No.100 in G (Military), No.101 in D (Clock), No.102 in Bb (1794, London); No.103 in Eb (Paukenwirbel, Drum Roll), No.104 in D (London) (1795, London).

CONCERTOS: vc. in C (c.1765), in D (1783); Klavier in D (c.1784), Klavier and str. in G; hn. No.1 in D (1762), No.2 in D (c.1764); 2 hn. and str. in Eb; for lira organizzata No.1 in C, No.2 in G, No.3 in G, No.4 in F, No.5 in F (c.1786); org. conc. (1756); for tpt. in Eb (1796); for vn. No.1 in A, No.2 in C, No.3 in G (c.1765); for vn., pf., and str. in F (1766); Sinfonia Concertante in Bb for ob., bn., vn., vc. (1792).

STRING QUARTETS: Op.1 (6 qts., 1760); Op.2, Nos. 7-12 (Nos. 9 and 11, with 2 hn. added) (1755-60); Op.9 (6 qts., 1771); Op.17, Nos. 25-30 (1771); Op.20, Nos. 31-6 (1772); Op.33, Nos. 37-42 (1781); Op.42, No.43 (1758); Op.50, Nos. 44-9 (c.1787); Op.51, Nos. 50-6 (1785, Seven Last Words from the Cross); Op.54, Nos. 57-9 (c.1788); Op.55, Nos. 60-2 (c.1788); Op.64, Nos. 63-8 (c.1790); Op.71, Nos. 69-71 (1793); Op.74, Nos. 72-4 (1793); Op.76, Nos. 75-80 (c.1797); Op.77, Nos. 81-2 (c.1799); Op. 103, No.83 (1802-3).

KEYBOARD: 62 sonatas (c. 1761-94), Variations in F minor (1793).

CHAMBER MUSIC: 32 pf. trios; 6 sonatas for klavier and vn.; fl. qts; lute qt.; divertimentos for str. trio; str. trios; 126 baryton trios; 32 pieces for mechanical clocks; and Notturnos for lira organizzata.

SOLO CANTATAS: Arianna a Naxos for sop./mez. (1790); Berenice che fai (1795).

VOCAL: qts. and trios (1796 and 1799); Alfred—Chorus of the Danes (1796); 12 canzonettas to Eng. words for solo v. and pf. (1794-5) incl. My mother bids me bind my hair, Spirit‘s Song, Piercing Eyes, She never told her love; 450 arrs. of Brit. folk-songs (1791-1805).

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