FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809), Austrian composer, was born on the 31st of March 1732 at Rohrau (Trstnik), a village on the borders of Lower Austria and Hungary.
To Thackeray her diction recalled the sound of village bells falling sweetly and softly on the ear, and it sent a shiver through John Stuart Mill, like a symphony of Haydn or Mozart.
The pianoforte trios of Haydn are perhaps the only-works of first-rate artistic importance in which there is no doubt that the earlier stages of the new art do not admit of sufficient polyphony to give the instruments fair play.
Haydn finds the pianoforte so completely capable of expressing his meaning that he is at a loss to find independent material for any accompanying instruments; and the violoncello in his trios has, except perhaps in four passages in the whole collection of thirty-three works, not a note to play that is not already in the bass of the pianoforte; while the melodies of the violin are, more often than not, doubled in the treble.
But experiment shows that in this condition much of the violin part sounds incomplete; and the truth appears to be that Haydn is thinking, like any modern composer, of the opposition of two solid bodies of tone - the pianoforte and the stringed instruments.
But this was ineffective with the pianoforte, and is only explicable in Haydn as a survival.
This was in many cases true, and it is equally true that Mozart and Haydn often had no scruple in following the customs of very bad composers.
Similar principles apply in infinite detail to the treatment of wind instruments, and we must never lose sight of them in speculating as to the reasons why the genius of Beethoven was able to carry instrumentation into worlds of which Haydn and Mozart never dreamt, or why, having gone so far, it left anything unexplored.
Thus there were no string-quartets, before Haydn - at least none that can be distinguished from: symphonies for string-band.
The big drum, cymbals and triangle, was used by Haydn in his Military Symphony, and Mozart in his Entfilhrung, for reasons of "local colour"; it appears as an extreme means of climax in the finale of Beethoven's 9th symphony.
Among musical organizations may be mentioned the Handel and Haydn Society (1815), the Harvard Musical Association (1837), the Philharmonic (1880) and the Symphony Orchestra, organized in 1881 by the generosity of Henry Lee Higginson.
Wagner's earlier works have too long been treated as if they represented the pure and healthy childhood of his later ideal; as if Lohengrin stood to Parsifal as Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven stand to Beethoven's last quartets.
Now Wagner's excellent teacher Weinlig did certainly, as Wagner himself testifies, teach him more of good music than Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart could have seen in their youth; for he showed him Beethoven.
Haydn uses a true Straussian discord in The Seasons, in order to imitate the chirping of a cricket; but the harshest realism in Gatterdammerung (the discord produced by the horns of Hagen and his churls in the mustering-scene in the second act) has a harmonic logic which would have convinced Corelli.
In the history of art Vienna owes to its musicians, among whom are counted Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.
In 1740, on the recommendation of the Dean of Hainburg, Haydn obtained a place in the cathedral choir of St Stephen's, Vienna, where he took the solo-part in the services and received, at the choir school, some further instruction on the violin and the harpsichord.
Here Haydn wrote, in rapid succession, eighteen divertimenti which include his first symphony and his first quartet; the two earliest examples of the forms with which his name is most closely associated.
With the encouragement of a discriminating patron, a small but excellent orchestra and a free hand, Haydn made the most of his opportunity and produced a continuous stream of compositions in every known musical form.
There can have been little personal intercourse between them, for Haydn was rarely in the capital, and Mozart seems never to have visited Eisenstadt; but the cordiality of their relations and the mutual influence which they exercised upon one another are of the highest moment in the history of 18th-century music. " It was from Haydn that I first learned to write a quartet," said Mozart; it was from Mozart that Haydn learned the richer style and the fuller mastery of orchestral effect by which his later symphonies are distinguished.
Haydn, thus released from his official duties, forthwith accepted a commission from Salomon, the London concertdirector, to write and conduct six symphonies for the concerts in the Hanover Square Rooms. He arrived in England at the beginning of 1791 and was welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm, receiving among other honours the degree of D Mus.
Haydn broke through this.
The compositions of Haydn include 104 symphonies, 16 overtures, 76 quartets, 68 trios, 54 sonatas, 31 concertos and a large number of divertimentos, cassations and other instrumental pieces; 24 operas and dramatic pieces, 16 Masses, a Stabat Mater, interludes for the " Seven Words," 3 oratorios, 2 Te Deums and many smaller pieces for the church, over 40 songs, over 50 canons and arrangements of Scottish and Welsh national melodies.
His younger brother, JOHANN MICHAEL HAYDN (1737-1806), was also a chorister at St Stephen's, and shortly after leaving the choir-school was appointed Kapellmeister at Grosswardein (1755) and at Salzburg (1762).
Another brother, JOHANN EVANGELIST HAYDN (1743-1805), gained some reputation as a tenor vocalist, and was for many years a member of Prince Esterhazy's Kapelle.
Mayr, Brevi notizie storiche della vita e delle, opere di Giuseppe Haydn (1809); Griesinger, Biographische Notizen fiber Joseph Haydn (1810); Carpani, Le Haydeni (1812 and 1823); Bombet (M.
De Stendhal), Vies de Haydn, de Mozart et de Metastase (Paris, 1854); Karajan, Joseph Haydn in London (1861); C. F.
Kuhac, Josip Haydn i Hravatske Narodne Popievke (Joseph Haydn and the Croatian Folk-songs) (Agram, 1880); A.
Niggli, Joseph Haydn, sein Leben and Werken (Basel, 1882); L.
Townsend; Joseph Haydn (London, 1884), Biography in H.
C. Hadden, Joseph Haydn (Great Musicians series) (London, 1902).
Haydn was for thirty years conductor of his private orchestra and general musical director, and many of his compositions were written for the private theatre and the concerts of this prince.