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Joseph Haydn, Composer Of Classical Music

925 words - 4 pages

Joseph Haydn was a composer born in Rohrau, Austria in 1732. He was the son of a wheel maker, whom taught himself how to play harp on an amateur and recreational basis. His family was musically inclined and Haydn was immersed in music since his early childhood as they made it a family affair to sing together and at times even along with neighbors. His father appreciated Haydn’s fine vocal ability and recognized that Rohrau was not an ideal place for Haydn to develop his musical skills. He was fostered under the care of their relative Johann Matthias Frankh at his request around the age of six, never to return home. Frankh was a schoolmaster and choirmaster in Hainburg. It was under Frankh’s care that he grasped the rudiments of music and was able to learn how to play the violin and the clavier. Karl Georg Reutter, choirmaster at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, also appreciated his singing. Reutter scouted Haydn as a choirboy and took him to Vienna, where he stayed for the next nine years and earned himself tuition in violin, clavier, and in singing. Haydn’s voice naturally “broke” around 1749 and was consequently dismissed by St. Stephens, leaving him penniless and homeless in the streets of Vienna. He couldn’t have been any place better in the world being a broke musician than in Vienna, where aristocratic families demanded fine musicians for their courts. He freelanced taking several odd jobs to scrape by; he mentored children, played violin for street bands and took the time to teach himself composition. He made a name for himself and first caught the attention of Count Ferdinand Maximillian von Morzin in 1759 and thus gained steady employment at his court. His tenure there was short-lived and the Count’s orchestra disbanded in 1761 due to his financial downfall. While employed by Morzin he met Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy who offered him the job of assistant Kappellmeister of his orchestra in Eisenstadt. Upon the death of the previous Kappellmeister he was bumped up to that position and enabled Haydn to experiment in his own compositions. Haydn’s contractual duties included composing, conducting, performing chamber music (small ensemble with one player to a part; most prominently a string quartet), and he was also in charge of all the musicians and instruments. His Esterhazy orchestra gave Haydn the opportunity to experiment with symphonic writing, his symphonies no.’s 6-8 known as; Le Matin, Le Midi, and Le Soir were probably his version of Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’. These symphonies were one of the first symphonies ever written by Haydn under the first year with the Esterhazys. He had parts of concerto grosso (small group of soloists, with tutti...

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