Franz Haydn

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Franz Joseph Haydn Joseph Haydn is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the classical period. He is often called the father of both the symphony and the string quartet, and he founded what is known as the Viennese classical school, which consisted of himself, his friend, Wolfgang Mozart, and his pupil, Ludwig van Beethoven. During his lifetime, he produced a mind-boggling amount of music. He lived from the end of the baroque period to the beginning of the romantic period, and presided over the transition between them. Franz Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, on April 1, 1732, to Mathias and Anna Maria Koller Haydn. Joseph Haydn's parents had twelve children, but, sadly, six of them died during infancy. His surviving siblings included two brothers, Johann Evangelist and Johann Michael, and three sisters, Anna Maria Franziska, Anna Maria, and Anna Katharina. Many references give March 31 as Haydn's birthday, but official records disprove this. It is rumored that his brother, Michael, was the source of this inaccuracy. Supposedly, Michael didn't want it said that his big brother came into this world as an April Fool. At age seven, young Joseph entered the choir school at St. Steven's Cathedral in Vienna, where he was to remain for the next nine years. During his early years, he became interested in composing music, but he had no formal training until his late teens, when he worked for Italian musician and composer, Niccolò Porpora. He avidly studied music, including the works of C. P. E. Bach, and held several music-related jobs in Vienna during the 1750's. His earliest composition, Missa Brevis in F, comes from this period, as does Der Krumme Teufel (The Lame Devil), a burlesque opera, which Haydn composed in 1752. This opera was banned shortly after it's opening, however, because a local nobleman thought that the main character was his caricature. Then, in 1758, Haydn got his first regular musical job as musical director to Count Ferdinand Maximillian von Morzin in Lukavec, Bohemia, where he wrote his first orchestral compositions. The Morzin orchestra performed Haydn's first symphony, which he conducted from the harpsichord. On November 26, 1760, he married Maria Anna Keller. Maria Anna, who was Joseph's elder by four years, was bad tempered, disliked music, and was unable to clean the house or bear children. She enjoyed makin... ... middle of paper ... ...s of his death spread, and, because of the invasion, his funeral went largely unnoticed. His remains were moved several times after his death, and his body now rests in Eisenstadt. During his lifetime, Joseph Haydn composed 107 symphonies, about 50 divertimenti, 84 string quartets, about 58 piano sonatas, and 13 masses. In all, his surviving musical works include over 750 compositions and over 330 songs. (A large number of Haydn's works were destroyed in the 1770's, so these totals would be even higher had it not been for the two fires.) He produced such an abundance of works during his long career that a man named Anthony von Hoboken compiled a directory of the master's works, the title of which translates to Joseph Haydn - Thematic-bibliographic Listing of his Works. This three-volume directory was so helpful in sorting through the massive quantity of music that most of Haydn's works are now known through their Hoboken reference number as well as their title. Undoubtedly, Franz Joseph Haydn is one of the greatest composers of all time. His music, widely acclaimed during his day, has since made him immortal. Very few can stand shoulder to shoulder with this great master.

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