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Rediscovering Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn was a contemporary of the classical composer George Frideric Handel. During their lifetime, these two talented men competed for the nobility and audience. Today, Joseph Haydn is somehow forgotten. However, his extensive work is still intensively cultivated in the most important city of his work. Haydn experienced its peak of the career under the service of Prince Esterházy in Eisenstadt, Austria. There he is still commemorated with numerous events.

Rediscovering Joseph Haydn
Rediscovering Joseph Haydn

The composer was born in Austria in 1732 and his full name was Franz Joseph Haydn. He rarely used his real first name Franz and preferred to call himself Joseph. His parents had eleven other kids but half of them died in childhood. The passion for music that had little Joseph was discovered by his close relative who gave the little boy the first basic musical knowledge. At the age of eight, Joseph Haydn started his first studies at St. Stephen’s in Vienna. There he received extensive musical education and training, and there he tried to compose for the first time.

When the Italian composer and singing teacher Nicola Porpora came to Vienna, he employed the young Joseph Haydn as a valet. There he accompanied his singing students with a piano. For this job, Joseph received lessons, food, and drink. Haydn later said that he owed Porpora the foundations of his art. The Italian left Vienna after four years. At the age of 23, Haydn composed the first string quartets and four years later became Kapellmeister with Karl Graf Morzin. However, the turning point happened in 1761 when Haydn was 29 years old.

He Called Mozart A Genius

When Joseph Haydn entered the service of Prince Esterházy in Burgenland near the Hungarian border, he initially became the second conductor and small orchestras were changed into a presentable ensemble. Five years later, Haydn became the first conductor.

Conductor
Conductor

As a result, he created many operas, masses, symphonies, sonatas, and string quartets. One of his symphonies were performed in France, and it was a door to many other projects abroad, so his fame was growing all around Europe. After his music has conquered the audience of Spain, England, and France, he made a performance in the United States in 1782. In 1785, Haydn visited Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna and praised the genius in front of his father. After the death of the prince Esterházy, Joseph Haydn also went to Vienna and remained princely conductor. Later, Joseph Haydn spend a lot of time in England where he received an honorary doctorate at Oxford University. He visited the oratorios of George Frideric Handel and composed his most famous symphony with the bang. After returning to Vienna, Haydn had some highly talented students including Ludwig van Beethoven. Joseph Haydn composed his oratorios the Creation and the Seasons. The music of his competitor George Frideric Handel inspired him to make those ideas into a real performance. The last work of Haydn is the unfinished string quartet opera 103 created in 1803. In 1808, the composer showed himself to the public for the last time and he died a year later.