Haydn, Joseph


Haydn family comes from the eastern part of Lower Austria. His parents were hard-working, conscientious, persistent and vigorous. Both of them were very fond of music: father used to play harp and his mother was singing. The first child of Matthias and Anna Maria was born on March 31, 1732. It was Josef, the future great composer. Parents noticed Josef’s musical talent and decided to teach him music. His father sent Joseph to Hainburg, where musical life was quite lively. Here Haydn was acquainted with music genres, participated in church services on Sundays and public holidays. In 1739, Joseph met a famous Viennese musician Karl Georg von Reuter, a bandmaster at St. Stephen's Cathedral. Obviously, Reuter liked the boy, The venerable musician suggested taking Joseph to Vienna. It happened a year later. At the age of 8, Haydn became a cathedral chorister. He studied up church music, operas of Italian, German and Austrian composers, and the instrumental music that was performed at court. At that time, Haydn started to compose. One of his first experiments was a chorus for 12 voices Salve Regina (the choir glorifying the Virgin). Haydn was 17 years old when his voice began to break. Adorable treble chocked, moreover his younger brother Michael (later - a famous composer and an organist) that had the similar fine voice was sinning in the same chorus. Reuter kicked him off. Thus, Haydn found himself in the street. This happened on November 1749. The young man was without a penny in his pocket, he had no shelter. Haydn earned his daily bread singing in church’s choirs and by any accessible way. He studied various theoretical works. His acquaintance with the music of Bach clavier sonatas impressed him most of all. The influence of Bach's sonatas was great. On the other hand, Haydn was surrounded by folk music, which filled Vienna. It was the music of the streets, where serenades and music of fairs were constantly sounding. Haydn had become quite popular in Vienna by 1755. His music was played in Viennese salons, he started to teach pupils. In addition, Haydn resumed singing in the church of St. Stephen. At the same time, young musician received an offer to enter the service. Count Morzin, a Bohemian aristocrat, invited the composer to his estate Lukavets (near Plzen). The Count, who was very fond of music, had a small orchestra, which counted from 12 to 16 musicians. Haydn was offered a position of a composer and a bandmaster. A salary, a room and a full board put away Haydn's financial concerns. In addition, he received the orchestra at his disposal and the opportunity to listen to everything that he had created. The service for Morzin lasted for two years (1759-1760). The first Haydn’s symphony re major in three parts was created during that period. Due to the financial difficulties count Morzin was forced to dismiss his chapel. A new employment was offered to Haydn - the post of the second bandmaster in the chapel of Paul II Anton, Prince Esterházy. Beginning from that moment a new creative period began in his life. It lasted for 30 years. It was the period of creative prosperity and constant improvement. Haydn’s creativity was vast and extremely diverse in genres. This is eloquently evidenced by the list of works that he created during the first years of service at Esterházy: 3 symphonies; 6 military plays for the Prince’s brass band; String trios; Concert for French horn; 4 small operas; Instrumental divertissement "Echo"; Pastoral "Acis and Galatea". Totally, up to 1765, more than 30 symphonies were written, concerts for various instruments, cassations, dances, clavier sonatas, chamber compositions, cantatas. The middle of the 1760s turned to be the starting point of Haydn's wide popularity not only in Austria, but abroad as well. String quartets were issued in Paris. They were followed by a symphony. In England, Haydn's name was mentioned in newspapers; In Leipzig - in the Brietkopf’s publishing company catalogues. Haydn did a lot as an opera director and a conductor. He staged about 90 Italian operas in the theater. The fame of the theater attracted many of the noble and distinguished people to the estate. Simultaneously with his work on opera, Haydn did not cease the work on instrumental, symphonic, and spiritual music .He created compositions with a pronounced dramatic content. Among them - "Stab at Mater" ("Mother grieving") - a spiritual composition, a choral cantata which is accompanied by an organ and an orchestra. The middle of the 1770s and 1780s was the time when Haydn's art was gaining increasing recognition in the musical environment. The Spanish King Charles III Court composer Luigi Boccherini appreciated Haydn and did a lot to familiarize Spanish people with his music. Haydn was highly appreciated in France as well. Haydn's symphonies were performed there in 1779. In 1784, several directors of Paris concert organizations addressed the composer with a proposal to write six symphonies. It was fulfilled immediately. Those symphonies figured in history under the name “The Parisian symphonies. They marked one of the altitudes of symphonic creativity of the composer. Since 1765, Haydn's works had been played in England. In 1782, two symphonies of the Viennese maestro were performed in New York. Haydn taught pupils. One of them - Ignaz Josef Pleyel, who lived in Haydn's house from 1772 to 1777, became a famous composer later. An exciting and significant event in Haydn’s life happened in the 1780s. It was the close acquaintance with young Mozart. Great musicians felt sincere respect and sympathy for each other. Their personal acquaintance referred approximately to 1781. Mozart stressed his admiration to his older colleague’s music repeatedly. On May 31, 1809, at the age of 77, the great Austrian composer died of senile depletion. The funeral was more than modest: Vienna was occupied by the French, the composer’s closest friends were outside the city and learned about Haydn's death after the funeral. The funeral service took place on June 15 at Shottenkirhe; Mozart's Requiem was played.