73 Facts About Joseph Haydn


Joseph Haydn was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the string quartet and piano trio.

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Joseph Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterhazy family at their Eszterhaza Castle.

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Joseph Haydn was a friend and mentor of Mozart, a tutor of Beethoven, and the elder brother of composer Michael Haydn.

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Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, a village that at that time stood on the border with Hungary.

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Joseph Haydn's parents had noticed that their son was musically gifted and knew that in Rohrau he would have no chance to obtain serious musical training.

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Joseph Haydn therefore went off with Frankh to Hainburg and he never again lived with his parents.

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Joseph Haydn began his musical training there, and could soon play both harpsichord and violin.

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Joseph Haydn passed his audition with Reutter, and after several months of further training moved to Vienna, where he worked for the next nine years as a chorister.

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Joseph Haydn lived in the Kapellhaus next to the cathedral, along with Reutter, Reutter's family, and the other four choirboys, which after 1745 included his younger brother Michael.

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However, since St Stephen's was one of the leading musical centres in Europe, Joseph Haydn learned a great deal simply by serving as a professional musician there.

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One day, Joseph Haydn carried out a prank, snipping off the pigtail of a fellow chorister.

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Joseph Haydn had the good fortune to be taken in by a friend, Johann Michael Spangler, who shared his family's crowded garret room with Haydn for a few months.

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Joseph Haydn immediately began his pursuit of a career as a freelance musician.

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Joseph Haydn struggled at first, working at many different jobs: as a music teacher, as a street serenader, and eventually, in 1752, as valet–accompanist for the Italian composer Nicola Porpora, from whom he later said he learned "the true fundamentals of composition".

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Joseph Haydn was briefly in Count Friedrich Wilhelm von Haugwitz's employ, playing the organ in the Bohemian Chancellery chapel at the Judenplatz.

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Joseph Haydn said of CPE Bach's first six keyboard sonatas, "I did not leave my clavier till I played them through, and whoever knows me thoroughly must discover that I owe a great deal to Emanuel Bach, that I understood him and have studied him with diligence.

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Joseph Haydn noticed, apparently without annoyance, that works he had simply given away were being published and sold in local music shops.

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Joseph Haydn was among several musicians who were paid for services as supplementary musicians at balls given for the imperial children during carnival season, and as supplementary singers in the imperial chapel in Lent and Holy Week.

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Countess Thun, having seen one of Joseph Haydn's compositions, summoned him and engaged him as her singing and keyboard teacher.

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Furnberg later recommended Joseph Haydn to Count Morzin, who, in 1757, became his first full-time employer.

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Joseph Haydn's salary was a respectable 200 florins a year, plus free board and lodging.

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Joseph Haydn led the count's small orchestra in Unterlukawitz and wrote his first symphonies for this ensemble – perhaps numbering in the double figures.

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Joseph Haydn had a huge range of responsibilities, including composition, running the orchestra, playing chamber music for and with his patrons, and eventually the mounting of operatic productions.

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Joseph Haydn was commanded to provide music for the prince to play, and over the next ten years produced about 200 works for this instrument in various ensembles, the most notable of which are the 126 baryton trios.

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Joseph Haydn served as company director, recruiting and training the singers and preparing and leading the performances.

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Joseph Haydn wrote several of the operas performed and wrote substitution arias to insert into the operas of other composers.

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Joseph Haydn soon shifted his emphasis in composition to reflect this and he negotiated with multiple publishers, both Austrian and foreign.

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Joseph Haydn composed in response to commissions from abroad: the Paris symphonies and the original orchestral version of The Seven Last Words of Christ (1786), a commission from Cadiz, Spain.

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Joseph Haydn longed to visit Vienna because of his friendships there.

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Joseph Haydn wrote to Mrs Genzinger often, expressing his loneliness at Esterhaza and his happiness for the few occasions on which he was able to visit her in Vienna.

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Joseph Haydn was hugely impressed with Mozart's work and praised it unstintingly to others.

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In 1785 Joseph Haydn was admitted to the same Masonic lodge as Mozart, the "Zur wahren Eintracht" in Vienna.

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Joseph Haydn retained a nominal appointment with Anton, at a reduced salary of 400 florins, as well as a 1000-florin pension from Nikolaus.

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Since the death of Johann Christian Bach in 1782, Joseph Haydn's music had dominated the concert scene in London; "hardly a concert did not feature a work by him".

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Charles Burney reviewed the first concert thus: "Joseph Haydn himself presided at the piano-forte; and the sight of that renowned composer so electrified the audience, as to excite an attention and a pleasure superior to any that had ever been caused by instrumental music in England.

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Joseph Haydn was well paid for the opera but much time was wasted.

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Joseph Haydn spent some of the time in the country, but had time to travel, notably to Oxford, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university.

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Joseph Haydn took Beethoven with him to Eisenstadt for the summer, where Joseph Haydn had little to do, and taught Beethoven some counterpoint.

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Joseph Haydn arranged for the performance of some of his London symphonies in local concerts.

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For 1795, Salomon had abandoned his own series, citing difficulty in obtaining "vocal performers of the first rank from abroad", and Joseph Haydn joined forces with the Opera Concerts, headed by the violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti.

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The final benefit concert for Joseph Haydn at the end of the 1795 season was a great success and was perhaps the peak of his English career.

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Joseph Haydn was everywhere appreciated there; it opened a new world to him".

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Joseph Haydn spent his summers with the Esterhazys in Eisenstadt, and over the course of several years wrote six masses for them including the Lord Nelson mass in 1798.

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Joseph Haydn spent most of his time in his home, a large house in the suburb of Windmuhle, and wrote works for public performance.

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Joseph Haydn frequently appeared before the public, often leading performances of The Creation and The Seasons for charity benefits, including Tonkunstler-Societat programs with massed musical forces.

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Joseph Haydn composed instrumental music: the popular Trumpet Concerto, and the last nine in his long series of string quartets, including the Fifths, Emperor, and Sunrise.

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Directly inspired by hearing audiences sing God Save the King in London, in 1797 Joseph Haydn wrote a patriotic "Emperor's Hymn" Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,.

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Joseph Haydn was well cared for by his servants, and he received many visitors and public honors during his last years, but they could not have been very happy years for him.

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Joseph Haydn was both moved and exhausted by the experience and had to depart at intermission.

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Joseph Haydn's remains were interred in the local Hundsturm cemetery until 1820, when they were moved to Eisenstadt by Prince Nikolaus.

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Joseph Haydn's head took a different journey; it was stolen by phrenologists shortly after burial, and the skull was reunited with the other remains only in 1954, now interred in a tomb in the north tower of the Bergkirche.

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Joseph Haydn had a robust sense of humor, evident in his love of practical jokes and often apparent in his music, and he had many friends.

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Joseph Haydn was a devout Catholic who often turned to his rosary when he had trouble composing, a practice that he usually found to be effective.

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Joseph Haydn normally began the manuscript of each composition with "in nomine Domini" and ended with "Laus Deo" ("praise be to God").

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Webster writes: "As regards money, Joseph Haydn…always attempted to maximize his income, whether by negotiating the right to sell his music outside the Esterhazy court, driving hard bargains with publishers or selling his works three and four times over [to publishers in different countries]; he regularly engaged in 'sharp practice'” which nowadays might be regarded as plain fraud.

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When Joseph Haydn died he was certainly comfortably off, but by middle class rather than aristocratic standards.

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Joseph Haydn was short in stature, perhaps as a result of having been underfed throughout most of his youth.

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Joseph Haydn was not handsome, and like many in his day he was a survivor of smallpox; his face was pitted with the scars of this disease.

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Joseph Haydn's biographer Dies wrote: "he couldn't understand how it happened that in his life he had been loved by many a pretty woman.

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Joseph Haydn is familiarly known as the 'father of the symphony' because he composed 107 symphonies, 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.

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Central characteristic of Joseph Haydn's music is the development of larger structures out of very short, simple musical motifs, often derived from standard accompanying figures.

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Joseph Haydn's work was central to the development of what came to be called sonata form.

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Joseph Haydn was particularly fond of the so-called monothematic exposition, in which the music that establishes the dominant key is similar or identical to the opening theme.

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Joseph Haydn was the principal exponent of the double variation form—variations on two alternating themes, which are often major- and minor-mode versions of each other.

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Over time, Joseph Haydn turned some of his minuets into "scherzi" which are much faster, at one beat to the bar.

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An older contemporary whose work Joseph Haydn acknowledged as an important influence was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.

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Joseph Haydn sometimes recycled his opera music in symphonic works, which helped him continue his career as a symphonist during this hectic decade.

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In 1779, an important change in Joseph Haydn's contract permitted him to publish his compositions without prior authorization from his employer.

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Charles Rosen has argued that this assertion on Joseph Haydn's part was not just sales talk but meant quite seriously, and he points out a number of important advances in Joseph Haydn's compositional technique that appear in these quartets, advances that mark the advent of the Classical style in full flower.

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Joseph Haydn took care to deploy this material in appropriate locations, such as the endings of sonata expositions or the opening themes of finales.

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Joseph Haydn once remarked that he had worked on The Creation so long because he wanted it to last.

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Change in Joseph Haydn's approach was important in the history of classical music, as other composers were soon following his lead.

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In Vienna in 1788 Joseph Haydn bought himself a fortepiano made by Wenzel Schantz.

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