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Composer: Haydn, Joseph (1732-1809)

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LondonFree recital

Haydn, Brahms
Roberts Balanas; Eriko Nagayama; Adria Trulls; Joel Siepmann

MunichResidence Serenade

Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn
Residenz Solisten; Andreas Skouras

LondonTrio Reverie

Haydn, Brahms, Piazzolla
Trio Reverie

La CoruñaHaydn, Bruckner

Haydn, Bruckner
Dennis Russell Davies; Ludwig Dürichen; Berthold Hamburger; Scott Mac Leod; Alejandro Salgueiro

BostonA Far Cry: Dawn to Dusk - Three Haydn Symphonies

Haydn
A Far Cry
Latest reviewsSee more...

Quicksilver clarity from Faust and the OAE

Isabelle Faust and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment find steely freshness in Mozart, with brooding intensity and accentuated twists and turns in Haydn and CPE Bach.
****1
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Gardner and the CBSO play Mahler 5

A concert of remarkable clarity, turning the structural challenges of Haydn and Mahler into dramatic virtues.
*****
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Outbreak of Violins: the ACO in Sydney

Interleaving Bach violin concertos with Haydn symphonies, the ACO give an energetic performance in the Sydney Opera House, with highlight solos from Richard Tognetti and Helena Rathbone.
****1
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Atmospheric Lenten concert by Currentzis

This Lenten concert given by Currentzis and MusicAeterna at Vienna’s Konzerthaus was certainly solemn and atmospheric – the auditorium was shrouded in darkness from beginning to end.
****1
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Soul-searching: Sir András Schiff in Tokyo

With thought-inspiring programming, Schiff played the penultimate sonatas of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Schubert.
****1
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Biography

Haydn, as Naxos puts it, is the subject of many paternity suits. Chamber music fans revere him as the father of the string quartet. He pioneered the a highly structured form of music where different instruments converse with each other. During the course of this conversation, the themes they play are transformed and developed, all the while training your ear to anticipate the pleasure of a return to the home key.

While Haydn didn't actually invent the term "symphony" (the word dates back at least to Gabrieli in 1597), his output of 104 symphonies transformed the genre and formed the base from which romantic and modern symphonies were derived.

Haydn did not have an easy life: the son of a wheelwright, he left the family home at six in the hope of a musical career via the church choir, from which he was unceremoniously dismissed when his voice broke. He was frequently hungry, and it was not until 1761 that he achieved stable employment with the Esterházy family, a job which was to last over thirty years.

In spite of his hard life and bouts of debilitating illness, his music is suffused with good humour, and he was respected by his contemporaries as a model of good character.

David Karlin, December 2008

Click here for a page of Haydn Trivia...


Biography of Haydn by the BBC's Terry Barfoot

Haydn trained as a choirboy at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna before embarking upon his long career. His first appointment was as music director at Lukavec, but financial problems soon closed Count Morzin’s orchestra and terminated this employment.

In 1761 Haydn entered the service of the Esterházy family, where he remained for thirty years. Beginning as Vice-Kapellmeister, he took over the leading position in 1766, succeeding Gregor Werner. In the early years of this service Haydn’s orchestra comprised at least six violins, three violas, three cellos and two double-basses, together with pairs of oboes and horns, with other instruments added occasionally.

His relationship with the Esterházy establishment, first at Eisenstadt and from 1767 at Esterháza (the new palace modelled on Versailles), enabled Haydn to view his isolation positively: "Cut off from the world, I was forced to become original." His development was crucial to the evolution of the classical style. While he did not invent the symphony or the string quartet, more than any other composer he guided these genres from infancy to maturity. It is hardly surprising that he inspired Mozart and other composers beyond.

The palace of Esterháza contained an opera house, and after 1777 opera became Haydn’s priority for several years. The "heroic-comic drama" Orlando paladino of 1782 gained an international reputation, with performances in Vienna and Prague. Mixing seria and buffa styles, dramatic recitatives and dazzling arias combine with comic characterisation; the bluff squire Pasquino even has a patter catalogue aria. Other fine operas include La vera constanza (True Constancy) and La fedeltà premiata (Loyalty Rewarded).

Haydn composed more than a hundred symphonies and was imaginatively independent, his works invariably having special personalities. Several begin with slow movements in ‘church sonata’ style, including No. 22, The Philosopher (1764) and No. 49, La Passione (1768). He also contributed to the expressive Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) style, in which emotional intensity reacted against the more superficial galant style, as for instance in Symphony No. 44, Trauer (1772). Meanwhile, Haydn became famous throughout Europe, and in 1785 he received a prestigious commission from "Le Concert de la Loge olympique". The resulting Paris Symphonies (Nos. 82-87) were his most ambitious and sophisticated to date.

In 1790 Prince Nikolaus died, and Haydn was allowed to leave. The impresario Johann Peter Salomon travelled in person to invite him to London. He accepted, and between 1791 and 1795 composed twelve symphonies, Nos. 93-104, which are his crowning achievement. His finales particularly are miracles of intellectual organisation, combining with music’s most pointed wit.

Haydn led the way in developing the string quartet. Towards the end of his life he told his publisher that his acknowledged quartets should begin with Opus 9 (1771), omitting the first eighteen compositions. There is close development of the music, rather than the easier entertainment style. He also claimed his Opus 33 quartets (1781) were written 'in a new and special way'. Although mere sales talk, the boast is justified by the music, which inspired Mozart to return to quartet writing with a series of compositions that he dedicated to Haydn. By now there was a sophisticated public who might perform and hear the music over and over again, whereas symphonies could seldom be repeated. The process of understanding a continuum of developing sounds was quite new, and it was why these years brought music of such lucidity.

The ‘Tost’ Quartets, Opus 54, 55 and 64, were composed for the Viennese merchant Johann Tost, who had worked at Esterháza. The boundaries between drawing room and concert room were disappearing, and the Opus 71 and Opus 74 use the same devices, including slow introductions, as the London symphonies. The final quartets came after Haydn’s return to Vienna. In 1797 the Opus 76 set was composed, two years before the two last completed quartets, Opus 77. How fitting that the same patron, Prince Lobkowitz, simultaneously commissioned the first quartets, Opus 18, of the young Beethoven.

The keyboard sonatas display a variety of forms and moods, as well as taxing the dexterity of the player. Haydn’s London visits yielded his finest sonatas, including the marvelous C major, whose opening Allegro is symphonic in scale and scope.

The trip to London, which included the experience of seeing the sea for the first time in his life, released a new flow of creativity from Haydn. Following his return to Vienna, he remained at the summit of his creative powers, in trios and quartets, the magnificent oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, and the six Masses for Princess Marie Josepha Hermenegild. His final years, however, brought the misfortune of ill health and little creative work was possible. He died in Vienna on 31st May 1809, aged 77.

© Terry Barfoot/BBC

List of works
Arianna a Naxos, cantata, Hob XXVIb:2Arianna a Naxos, cantata, Hob XXVIb:2: excerptsCanzonettas, Hob XXVIaCapriccio in G major, Hob XVII:1Cello Concerto no. 1 in C major, Hob VIIb:1Cello Concerto no. 2 in D major, Hob VIIb:2Concerto for 2 lire organizzate (or flute and oboe) no. 1 in C major, Hob VIIh:1Die Jahreszeiten, Hob.XXI:3: Welche Labung für die Sinne, Nr.9Duet in D major, for violin and cello, Hob.VI:D1Fantasia (Capriccio) in C major, Hob XVII:4Flute Quartet in A major, Hob.II:A4Keyboard Sonata in G Major, Op. 37 no. 1, Hob. XVI:40 L'Anima del Filosofo, Ossia Orfeo ed Euridice, Hob.XXVIII:13: excerptsL'isola disabitata: overture, Hob XXVIII:9Mass no. 10 in C major, “Paukenmesse” (In Time of War), Hob XXII:9Mass no. 11 in D Minor “Nelson Mass” or “Missa in Angustiis", Hob XXII:11Mass no. 14 in B flat major, “Harmoniemesse”, Hob XXII:14O tuneful voice, Hob.XXXVIa:42Orfeo ed Euridice, or The Soul of the PhilosopherOrlando PaladinoOrlando Paladino: Aure chete, Verdi alloriPiano Concerto in D major, Hob XVIII:11Piano Sonata in A flat major, Hob XVI:46Piano Sonata in B minor, Hob XVI:32Piano Sonata in C major, Hob XVI:48Piano Sonata in C major, Hob XVI:50Piano Sonata in C minor, Hob XVI:20Piano Sonata in D major, Hob XVI:42Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob XVI:49Piano Sonata in E flat major, Hob XVI:52Piano Sonata in F major, Hob XVI:23Piano Sonata in G major, Hob XVI:39Piano Sonata in G minor, Hob XVI:44Piano Trio in G major, "Gypsy Rondo," Hob XV:25Piano Trio no. 10 in E flat, Hob XV:35Piano Trio no. 25 in E minor, Hob XV:12Piano Trio no. 31 in G major, Hob XV:32Piano Trio no. 34 in B flat major, Hob XV:20Piano Trio no. 38 in D major, Hob XV:24Piano Trio no. 44 in E major, Hob XV:28Piano Trio no. 45 in E flat major, Hob XV:29Pieces for Musical Clocks (Organ)Piercing Eyes, Hob.XXVIa:35Scena di BereniceShe never told her love, Hob XXVIa:34Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major for oboe, bassoon, violin and cello, Hob I:105String Quartet no. 1 in B flat major "La chasse", Op.1 no. 1, Hob III:1String Quartet no. 23 in F minor, Op.20 no.5, Hob III:35String Quartet no. 25 in C major, Op.20 no.2, Hob III:32String Quartet no. 27 in D major, Op.20 no.4, Hob III:34String Quartet no. 28 in E flat major, Op.20 no.1, Hob III:31String Quartet no. 29 in G major, Op.33 no.5, Hob III:41String Quartet no. 30 in E flat major “The Joke”, Op.33 no.2, Hob III:38String Quartet no. 31 in B minor, Op.33 no.1, Hob III:37String Quartet no. 32 in C major, "The Bird", Op.33 no.3, Hob III:39String Quartet no. 33 in D major, Op.33 no.6, Hob III:42String Quartet no. 36 in B flat major, Op.50 no.1, Hob III:44String Quartet no. 4 in G major, Op.1 no. 4, Hob III:4String Quartet no. 40 in F major “Dream”, Op.50 no.5, Hob III:48String Quartet no. 42 in C major, Op.54 no.2, Hob III:57String Quartet no. 48 in C major, Op.64 no.1, Hob III:65String Quartet no. 52 in E flat major, Op.64 no.6, Hob III:64String Quartet no. 53 in D major “The Lark”, Op.64 no.5, Hob III:63String Quartet no. 54 in B flat major, Op.71 no.1, Hob III:69String Quartet no. 59 in G minor, "The Rider", Op.74 no.3, Hob III:74String Quartet no. 60 in G major, Op.76 no.1, Hob III:75String Quartet no. 61 in D minor "Fifths," Op.76 no.2, Hob III:76String Quartet no. 62 in C major "The Emperor", Op.76 no.3, Hob III:77String Quartet no. 63 in B flat major "Sunrise," Op.76 no.4, Hob III:78String Quartet no. 64 in D major “Largo”, Op.76 no.5, Hob III:79String Quartet no. 65 in E flat major, Op.76 no.6, Hob III:80String Quartet no. 66 in G major "Lobkowitz", Op.77 no.1, Hob III:81String Quartet no. 68 in D minor, Op.103, Hob III:83Symphony No. 85 in B flat major "La Reine"Symphony no. 1 in D majorSymphony no. 100 in G major "Military"Symphony no. 101 in D major "The Clock"Symphony no. 103 in E flat major "Drumroll" (Paukenwirbel)Symphony no. 104 in D major "London"Symphony no. 12 in E majorSymphony no. 22 in E flat major "The Philosopher"Symphony no. 26 in D minor "Lamentatione"Symphony no. 27 in G majorSymphony no. 36 in E flat majorSymphony no. 39 in G minorSymphony no. 40 in F majorSymphony no. 43 in E flat "Mercury"Symphony no. 44 in E minor "Mourning" (Trauersymphonie)Symphony no. 45 in F sharp minor “Farewell”Symphony no. 47 in G major “Palindrome”Symphony no. 48 in C major "Maria Theresia"Symphony no. 49 in F minor "La Passione"Symphony no. 6 in D major "Le Matin"Symphony no. 63 in C major “La Roxelane”Symphony no. 64 in A major "Tempora mutantur"Symphony no. 7 in C major, "Le Midi"Symphony no. 70 in D majorSymphony no. 74 in E flat majorSymphony no. 8 in G major "Le Soir"Symphony no. 80 in D minorSymphony no. 82 in C major “The Bear”Symphony no. 83 in G minor "The Hen"Symphony no. 87 in A majorSymphony no. 88 in G majorSymphony no. 90 in C majorSymphony no. 92 in G major "Oxford"Symphony no. 93 in D majorSymphony no. 94 in G major "Surprise"Symphony no. 96 in D major, "Miracle"Symphony no. 98 in B flat majorSymphony no. 99 in E flat majorTe Deum no. 1 in C Major for Prince Nicolaus Esterházy Hob.XXIIIc:1The CreationThe Creation (Die Schöpfung), Hob XXI:2The Creation (Die Schöpfung): Prelude, Representation of Chaos Hob XXI:2The Illustrated 'Farewell'The Seasons (Die Jahreszeiten) Hob XXI:3The Seven Last Words of Christ (choral version), Hob XX:2The Seven Last Words of Christ (orchestral version), Hob XXTrumpet Concerto in E flat major, Hob VIIe:1 Variations in F minor "Sonata, un piccolo divertimento", Hob XVII:6Violin Concerto no. 1 in C major, Hob VIIa:1Violin Concerto no. 3 in A major, Hob VIIa:3