Josesph Haydn (1732-
One of the most prolific and prominent composers of the classical period. Ηe produced an unusually large amount of work which he pulled out from court to the general public. He was called "the father of the symphony " and "father of the string quartet." He also contributed to the development of piano trio and sonata form. He was a close friend of Mozart and teacher of Beethoven. Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the Esterházy family at their estate, isolated from other composers and trends in music. As he said, that is the reason he was "forced to become original''
He was born in Rohrau, a village that at that time stood at the border with Hungary. His parents were of low social class. None of his parents could read music. They had noticed that their son was musically gifted and because Joseph had no chance to be trained well in Rohrau, he was sent to live with a relative family in Hainburg.
Later he became a member of the choir of St. Stephen in Vienna. He had already started writing his own music. At the age of 17 he was dismissed because he had matured physically and he was hosted at the home of a tenor. He lived by teaching music and singing , so he was able to continue his studies in music composition. His favorite composer was C.P.E. Bach.
He had various jobs before entering in Esterhazy court. He was hired as an escort harpsichordist and teacher. During 1759 he worked as a musical director for a Count and in 1761 he entered in the service of Esterhazy in Eisenstadt, Hungary. He had already written several symphonies, string quartets and he was married. Although his marriage did not go well, the social rules of that time would not allow a divorce.
He worked for the Esterhazy court for about thirty years, until he retired. He led an orchestra of about 20 musicians including singers for operatic roles and a choir for Sunday´s liturgy. In the 1760s he acquired a great reputation.
When he retired from the Esterhazy began taking a lot of professional offers from abroad. He traveled in Italy and twice in England. In England he learned about Mozart's death.
He composed his last symphony, the London symphony in D minor, in Vienna in 1795. During that year he also took back his old position in the court of Esterhazy, this time as a part-
He died at the age of 77.
Haydn composed his 104 symphonies within forty years. The main feature of his music is the development of larger structures out of small, simple motifs, The music is often concentrated and musical events unfold quickly. His music is well-
People were talking about an honest man, and -