This new item “Composers Corner” is as a result from another Blogger’s very kind words to me on yesterday’s “Poets corner”,  he happened to mention Franz Joseph Haydn and I thought it would be such a good idea to do a blog on some of the most famous Composers, and maybe not so famous, and different generations.  So I asked this lovely Gentleman Blogger if I could take what he said and make a blog every week.  Lets see how this goes.


Composer  Born March 31, 1732  –  Died May 31,1809

Haydn was born in Rohrau, in Austria, and Died in Vienna in Austria.  His full name was Franz Joseph Haydn.

It was because of his 106 symphonies, he became principal architect of the classical style of music.

Haydn was among the creators of the fundamental genres of classical music, his influence upon later composers is immense.  His most celebrated pupil was non other than Ludwig van Beethoven, and his musical form casts a huge shadow over the music of the subsequent composers, the likes of Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

Franz Joseph Haydn was recruited at the age of 8 to sing in the choir at St, Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria.  It is there he went on to learn to play violin and the keyboard.  After Haydn left the choir, he supported himself by teaching and playing violin, at the same time studying counterpoint and harmony.

Franz Joseph Haydn soon became an assistant to the composer Nicola Porpora in the exchange for lessons, and in 1761 he was named Kapellmeister, or “Court Musician,” at the Palace of the influential Esterhazy family, a position that would financially support him for nearly 30 years.  He was isolated at the Palace from other composers and musical trends, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original.”

During the reign of Nikolaus II, he spent his summers in Eisenstadt and annually composed a Mass for the name day of the Prince’s Wife, (and Haydn’s friend) Princess Maria Josepha Hermenegild 1768-1845.  Haydn continued to perform these duties until his health failed in 1802.

While Haydn rose in the Esterhazy family’s esteem, his popularity outside the Palace walls also increased, 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) 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 Esterhazy Prince let Haydn go, he quickly accepted an invitation to go to England to conduct new symphonies with German violinist and impresario Johann Peter Salomon.  He would return to London again in 1794 for another successful and lucrative season.

Already well known and appreciated in England, Haydn’s concerts drew huge crowds and during this time in England the composer created some of his most popular works, including the “Rider” quartet and the surprise, Military, Drumroll and London symphonies.

Haydn returned to Vienna in 1795 and took up his former position with the Esterhazys, 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.








“Serenade” by Franz Joseph Haydn. This and the above is for G. P. Cox “Pacific Paratrooper” Blog  – please visit his Blog it is so good.


One thought on “NEW – COMPOSERS CORNER

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