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.
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.
Thus there were no string-quartets, before Haydn - at least none that can be distinguished from: symphonies for string-band.
His symphony Le Midi (written in 1761) already shows a remarkable freedom and independence in the handling of orchestral forces, and further stages of advance were reached in the oratorio of Tobias, in the Paris and Salomon symphonies, and above all in the Creation, which turns to good account some of the debt which he owed to his younger contemporary.
His most important works were the Missa hispanica, which he exchanged for his diploma at Stockholm, a Mass in D minor, a Lauda Sion, a set of graduals, forty-two of which are reprinted in Diabelli's Ecclesiasticon, three symphonies (1785), and a string quintet in C major which has been erroneously attributed to Joseph Haydn.
To this period belong five Masses, a dozen operas, over thirty clavier-sonatas, over forty quartets, over a hundred orchestral symphonies and overtures, a Stabat Mater, a set of interludes for the service of the Seven Words, an Oratorio Tobias written for the Tonkiinstler-Societe t of Vienna, and a vast number of concertos, divertimenti and smaller pieces, among which were no less than 175 for Prince Nicholas' favourite instrument, the baryton.
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.
1, and the Salomon Symphonies in D and Eb, while there is hardly an instrumental composition of Haydn's in which his own melodies do not show some traces of the same influence.
Now, such subtleties seem as if they must be unconscious on the part of the composer; yet here Bach is so far aware of his reasons that his vivace e allegro is an arrangement of the second chorus of a church cantata, Gott man lobet dich in der Stille; and in the cantata the chorus has introductory and final symphonies and a middle section with a da capo!
Toute la lyre, his latest legacy to the world, would be enough, though no other evidence were left, to show that the author was one of the very greatest among poets and among men; unsurpassed in sublimity of spirit, in spontaneity of utterance, in variety of power, and in perfection of workmanship; infinite and profound beyond all reach of praise at once in thought and in sympathy, in perception and in passion; master of all the simplest as of all the subtlest melodies or symphonies of song that ever found expression in a Border ballad or a Pythian ode.
The method of presentation in both symphonies is by means of representative themes (Leitmotif), and their combination and interaction.