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Franz Joseph Haydn Essay

1478 words - 6 pages

Franz Joseph Haydn
Over the course of his 106 symphonies, Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn became the principal architect of the classical style of music. Haydn was called the father of the symphony and the father of the string Quartet. He was born March 31, 1732. When he was eight years old, he went to Vienna to sing in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral. His younger brother Michael joined him a short time later. Haydn spent a lot of his life as a musician somewhat secluded from the rest of the music world. On May 1, 1761, he went to work for the Esterhazy family where he remained for the next 30 years. Once he left the Esterhazy family, he was well known and worked with a number ...view middle of the document...

Neither parent could read music although Haydn’s father had taught himself to play the harp when he was young. His parents realized that Joseph had a passion for singing and a talent for music and encouraged him. He showed musical abilities and at the age of five, he was trained by a schoolmaster at Hainburg, Johann Matthais Frankh, who taught and introduced him to the world of music. He started singing in choirs and people noticed that he could even hit treble parts with his vocal cords. People were impressed with his talent and he was soon spotted by George Von Reutter, the director of music at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. He was accepted to the institution and went on to work as a chorister with the institution for the next nine years. For the next few years, Haydn stayed with the Reutter family and learnt a lot at the Cathedral even though he did not learn much from Reutter himself. He was introduced to a wide variety of topics such as voice, violin, and keyboard. The school was a premier institution at the time and Haydn continued to learn even though he was appointed as a chorister. In the year 1749, Haydn’s voice seasoned and he could not sing high anymore. The empress herself noticed and complained to the school that he was no longer fit to sing. Later, Haydn played a prank on one of his schoolmates by cutting her pigtail off. This was enough to anger the management and he was expelled from the institution, with no home or family to go to. One of Haydn’s friends let him move in with him and he pursued a career as a freelance musician.
Haydn worked hard and tried different jobs after he left the cathedral. He was finally accepted as an apprentice to the composer Nicola Porpora who taught him basics of composition. Nicola played a big role in the molding and direction of Haydn’s popular career. While he was an apprentice to Nicola, he also made a living by playing the organ in the Bohemian chancellery chapel and continued to refine his theory and musical skills by reading up and studying the works of Carl Phillip Bach and Johann Fux. Around this time Haydn’s popularity slowly began to increase with his number of works. He worked for a freelance court in Vienna and was one of the several musicians at balls and other important arrangements. He was also summoned by the Countess Thun as her keyboard and singing teacher.  With the increase in his reputation, Haydn was called to the important estate, Weinzierl where he first started to compose his string quartets. This was followed by a brief period of compositions and performances after which he was picked by his first, permanent employer Count Morzin, in 1757. While at Count Morzin’s, he was appointed as the chief music director or the Kapellmeister, where he wrote and produced many symphonies, quartets and songs. Following his appointment as the music director, Haydn decided to settle down with Maria Anna. They had a very unhappy marriage. They had no children so both Haydn and his...

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