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Franz Joseph

1732 - 1809

Franz Joseph Haydn  (31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809) was a prolific Austrian composer of the Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio and his contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet".

String Quartet No. 63 in B flat major, Op. 76, No. 4, "Sunrise"

Having decided not to move to England, Haydn returned to Esterhaza in 1795, where his duties were now far lighter, and his international fame made him more of a trophy than a servant. No longer composing sonatas and symphonies, he turned once again to the more private medium of the string quartet, distilling the experiments of a long career into eight final works that demonstrate his total mastery over the genre which he had himself invented.


The spacious improvisatory violin ascending over a single chord that opens this piece led to comparisons with a sunrise, giving the work its nickname. The later passages have an expansiveness that is almost Romantic.
SECOND MOVEMENT (ADAGIO 6:00) A serene meditation with subtle interplay between the instruments, this movement, in the tradition of all the greatest chamber music, removes the listener from all that is mundane.
THIRD MOVEMENT (MENUETT0, ALLEGRO 4:00) Exuding charm and jovial good humour, the Minuet leads into a folk like Trio, featuring a droning bass over a fragmented minor- key melody.
FINALE (ALLEGRO M A NON TROPPO 4:00) At first deceptively amiable and laconic, even perhaps reminiscent of English folk song, the pace of the finale changes drastically towards the end, concluding the quartet with an effervescent flourish.

"I must have something to do -- usually musical ideas are pursuing me, to the point of torture, I cannot escape them, they stand like walls before me. If it's an allegro that pursues me, my pulse keeps beating faster, I can get no sleep. If it's an adagio, then I notice my pulse beating slowly. My imagination plays on me as if I were a clavier."

Franz Joseph Haydn


Key Works

Symphony no. 96 "Miracle" 

1. Adagio - Allegro (0:10)
2. Andante (5:43)
3. Menuetto; Allegretto (11:56)
4. Finale; Vivace (17:33)

Symphony No. 92 in G major "Oxford"

I. Adagio - Allegro spiritoso
II. Adagio cantabile
III. Menuetto: Allegretto
IV. Presto

Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor - "Farewell"

0:24 I. Allegro assai
9:17 II. Adagio
17:34 III. Menuetto. Allegretto
21:27 IV. Finale. Presto - Adagio

Symphony No 94 G major "Surprise"

1. Adagio - Vivace assai
2. Andante
3. Menuetto: Allegro molto
4. Finale: Allegro molto

Symphony No. 100 in G Major "Military"

I. Addagio- Allegro
II. Allegretto
III. Menuetto-Moderato
IV. Presto

Symphony No. 101 in D major "The Clock"

00:00 - Adagio - Presto
08:11 - Andante
15:43 - Menuet: Allegretto
22:29 - Vivace

Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major "Drum Roll" 

00:00 - Adagio - Allegro con spirito
08:49 - Andante più tosto allegretto
18:20 - Menuet. Trio
23:34 - Finale. Allegro con spirito

Symphony No. 104 in D major "London"

00:00 - Adagio - Allegro
08:44 - Andante
17:11 - Menuet: Allegro
21:53 - Finale: Spiritoso

Twelve of Haydn’s later symphonies are known collectively as the
“London” Symphonies. This was his final work in the series —and in the genre. Taking advantage of a far larger orchestra than he was used to in Vienna, this work features some of his most majestic music.

FIRST MOVEMENT (ADAGIO ,ALLEGRO, 8:05) After a solemn introduction in the minor key, the main theme of the Allegro is surprisingly lyrical. Thisis swiftly usurped by faster, more exuberant music that makes frequent use of trumpets and drums.
the charmingly poised opening melody, the sudden entry of the full orchestra is a real surprise. After this disquieting display of
drama and passion, the return to gentility is never quite assured.
Far faster than earlier minuets, the third movement with its frequent syncopations, surprises, and the orchestral timbre of the Trio, point firmly in the direction of Beethoven.


Claimed both as a traditional Croatian folk tune and as a London street seller’s cry, the earthy melody used in the final movement brings Haydn’s career as a symphonist to a joyful end.

Madrigal - Io Son Ferito, Ahi Lasso

Cello Concerto No 1 in C Major

1 Moderato
2 Adagio
3 Allegro molto

Rediscovered in 1961, Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 immediately joined its brother, the Cello Concerto No. 2, in the standard repertoire. It shows Baroque tendencies in its reiteration of passages for full orchestra (ritornellos), while its mood is Rococo. On a grand scale throughout, the outer movements demand considerable agility and stamina, while the slow movement

was composed to showcase the Esterhazy cellist’s beautiful tone.

String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3 in C, "Emperor"

I. Allegro (0:00)
II. Poco Adagio: Cantabile (5:05)
III. Menuetto (12:37)
IV. Finale: Presto (17:13)

Piano Sonata No. 52 in E-flat major

The Piano Sonata No. 52 in E-flat major, Hob. XVI/52, L. 62, was written in 1794 by Joseph Haydn. This is the last of Haydn's piano sonatas, and is widely considered his greatest. It has been the subject of extensive analysis by preeminent musicological figures such as Heinrich Schenker and Sir Donald Tovey, largely because of its expansive length, unusual harmonies and interesting development.

I. Allegro (Moderato)
II. Adagio in E major and E minor
III. Finale: Presto

"The Creation"

After hearing performances of Handel’s oratorios in London, Haydn was inspired to write a similarly large- scale biblical work. The Creation was commissioned byJohann Salomon, who presented an English libretto based on the book of Genesis,
which Haydn had had translated into German. The piece was an immediate success in both England and Germany, and became Haydn’s most performed work.
PART ONE (36:00) The opening representation of chaos is possibly the most extraordinary music of the period. Conjuring timelessness, Haydn juxtaposed seemingly incongruous ideas, allowing harmonies to meander until, with a blaze of glory, the chorus sings, “Let there be light.” The music then introduces each act of the Creation with a 
recitative, followed by one or more lyrical commentaries and concluded by the chorus in a hymn of praise.
PART TWO (37:00) Continuing with
the “fifth day”, Haydn achieves a remarkable musical depiction of the poetry of Genesis, most particularly of the animals, from the roaring of tigers to the gentle pastorality of cows, and even the “sinuous worm”.
PART THREE (26:00) The first humans, Adam and Eve, praise God and the act of Creation before a choral fugue

brings the work to a glorious end.

Trumpet Concerto in E flat major

In this, the first work written for the newly invented keyed trumpet, Haydn took full advantage of the instrument’s ability to play all the notes within its compass by boldly presenting running passages and cantabile melodies in its lower range. Premiered in Vienna in 1800 by the instrument’s inventor, Anton Weidinger, the concerto remains a cornerstone of every trumpet player’s repertoire.

(March 31, 1732 - May 31, 1809)

Austrian composer. Although he did not actually invent either genre, he is rightly regarded as the father of both the symphony and the string quartet. During most of his career, he was considered the world’s greatest living composer, and he deserves much of the credit for developing the Classical style out of the Baroque and Rococo and for advancing it to the very threshold of Romanticism.


The son of a wheelwright and a cook, he had a gift for singing and a phenomenal musical memory, and by the age of seven had been recruited to sing in the choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. In 1749, when his voice changed, he left the choir and began to make his living as a teacher and freelance musician, playing ser enades in the streets for pocket change, composing at night, and living in an unheated garret. Around 1753 he landed ajob as an assistant to Nicola Porpora, accom panying the elder master’s singing students and absorbing many of the finer points of the Italian style in the process. His big break came in 1757, when he was engaged as music director by Count Morzin, the Bohemian nobleman whose grand father had been a patron of Vivaldi. While in Morzin’s serv ice he composed his first symphonies and possibly his first string quartets, as well as keyboard sonatas, trios, and several divertimentos and wind serenades.

In 1761 the newly married Haydn accepted an offer of employment from Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy. The prince died the following year and was succeeded by his brother Nicolaus, who encouraged Haydn to stay on by raising his salary 50 percent. Haydn served Nicolaus for nearly 30 years, first as vice-Kapellmeister, then as Kapellmeister, work ing in Eisenstadt and, from 1767, spending long periods with the prince’s orchestra at Esterhaza, his newly built summer residence on the shores of Lake Neusiedl, in what is now western Hungary.

Haydn’s output while in the service of the Esterhazys was immense—roughly 80 symphonies, 50 quartets, and 45 keyboard sonatas, about a dozen Italian operas, half a dozen singspiels for the marionette theater at Esterhaza, and even 126 baryton trios (the baryton, resembling a viola d’amore with frets, being the instrument Prince Nicolaus himself played). Haydn produced about 25 symphonies during his years as vice-Kapellmeister (1761-65) that exhibit great variety of style and treatment, and uniform brilliance of execution. During the early 1770s he emphasized strength and passion more than elegance, and the works of this period are often referred to as his Sturm und Drang symphonies—some thing of a misnomer, since the literary movement to which the term refers came into existence later.

On January 1, 1779, Haydn signed a new contract with Nicolaus that freed him to accept outside commis sions, in effect declaring his independence as a composer. His work at Esterhaza centered on opera for the next few years, and he produced a string of first-rate works—L’isola disabitata (1779), La fedelta premiata (1781), Orlando paladino (1782), and Armida (1784). But in 1785 he took advantage of his newly won freedom to compose a set of six sym phonies on commission from the Count d’Ogny for the Concert de la Loge Olympique in Paris. Written for a large orchestra, led by the swashbuckling Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the Paris Symphonies are notable for their vigorous opening movements, their elegant slow movements, and their imaginative use of the orchestra throughout—one example of many being the oboe’s vivid “clucking” that inspired the Parisians to dub Symphony No. 83 in G minor La poule (The Hen).

Between 1787 and 1789 Haydn followed these symphonies with five more (Nos. 88-92) in which his sovereign command of musical imagery leaps out from every page. Nothing could be more wonderfully rustic than the animated country-dance finale of Symphony No. 88 in G, yet behind the bucolic facade, the workmanship is extraordinary. Following the death of Prince Nicolaus in 1790, Haydn was approached by Johann Peter Salomon to write a set of six symphonies for London. Haydn, who had not traveled widely, spent much of 1791-92 in England supervising the performance of six new symphonies. They were so successful that another six were commissioned, which he returned to London to present in 1794-95. In their stylistic sophistication and the richness of their ideas, Haydn’s 12 London Symphonies stand among the very highest peaks of symphonic art. They mark, as the American musicologist Leonard Ratner has noted, “the culmination of a long period of growth in skill, fluency, and fantasy.” In their rhetorical strength, assured handling of form, robust scoring, and bold gestures they surpass everything he had done previously and epitomize the formal and expressive aims of the Classical style, inviting comparison with the best of Mozart’s work. They are particularly rich in topical gestures—like the incursion of “hostile” Turkish elements (triangle, cymbals, and bass drum) into the Allegretto, and later the finale, of Symphony No. 100 in G, known for this reason as the Military. No group of works better exemplifies Haydn’s unique ability to combine elevated discourse and playfulness, or shows to better effect his delight in the unexpected. This quality is apparent not just in the sur prise that gives Symphony No. 94 in G its famous nickname, but in many other touches, for example, the sparkling violin solos strewn throughout the presto finale of Symphony No. 98 in B-flat, which Salomon would have played at the premiere from the concertmaster’s desk. These are answered at the end of the movement by a slowed- down, ornamented reprise of the movement’s rondo theme, played as a solo on the harpsichord—a jolly little tip of the cap from Haydn himself that must have sent the symphony’s first audience into transports.

There is more to Haydn than his symphonies, splendid as they are. The nearly 70 string quartets he composed between 1762 and 1799, along with the piano sonatas and piano trios he produced after 1790, are the bedrock of the active chamber music literature. With his six Russian Quartets, Op. 33 (1781), he effectively brought the quartet genre into its maturity, and in the quartets he composed from 1787 onward (Opp. 50, 54, 55, 64, 71, 74, 76, and 77), so brilliant in their formal and melodic invention, he defined the state of the art of quartet writing in the 18th century.

The great works of Haydn’s final years were the oratorios The Creation (1796-98) and The Seasons (1799-1801) and the six masses composed between 1796 and 1802 for the name day (September 8) of Princess Maria Hermenegild, wife of young Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy, the grandson of Haydn’s longtime patron. The glorious architecture, rich musical characterization, and unfettered invention of the London Symphonies and the late string quartets and piano trios are carried forward in these radiant works, which additionally testify to their composer’s robust and deeply rooted Catholic faith.

Haydn’s work as an instrumental com poser proved particularly important to the evolution of musical thought. At the time he began working in the genres, around 1760, the symphony and string quartet had few formal or procedural norms. By the mid-1780s he had established lasting mod els for both. Even more important, he devised a novel manner of developing thematic material in such works, by breaking it down into units of several notes that through repetition and extension could be turned into “engines” capable of driving a movement’s line of action forward in a very dramatic way. Most of the music of the past two centuries has to some extent used this procedure.


Although he was a musician's musician, after his death in 1809 Haydn's music was frequently dismissed as inferior to that of Mozart and a mere precursor to Beethoven's compositions.
However, it has rightly been said that few music innovations in the century following Haydn's death could not be traced back to his works.

Haydn as portrayed by John Hoppner in England in 1791

Mass No. 11 in D minor, "Nelson Mass"

00:00 - 1. Kyrie
04:29 - 2. Gloria
15:07 - 3. Credo
24:30 - 4. Sanctus
26:59 - 5. Benedictus
32:59 - 6. Agnus Dei

In the early days of August 1798, the British Admiral Lord Nelson engaged Napoleon's fleet at Aboukir Bay, near the mouth of the Nile River. Nelson's victory in what became known as the Battle of the Nile was a major breakthrough in the battle against the French. News of it traveled quickly, and Nelson became a celebrated hero.
Back at the Esterházy court, Franz Josef Haydn was putting the finishing touches to his Mass in D minor, the third of six masses he wrote over the years 1796 to 1802 to commemorate the nameday of Princess Marie Hermenegild, the wife of his patron Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy. Haydn had already taken note of the war against Napoleon in his Mass in Time of War (1796), and there are likewise allusions to the fighting in the Mass in D minor -- Haydn's only mass in a minor key -- whose original title, "Missa in angustiis", can be translated as Mass in Time of Difficulty or Anxiety. The news of Nelson's victory had probably reached Esterháza by the time of the first performance of the mass, under Haydn's direction, on 23 September 1798; in September 1800, Admiral Nelson himself visited Eisenstadt on his return trip to London. While there, he heard a performance of the D minor Mass, which by that point was firmly associated with him -- hence the nickname which has come down to us.

Missa Brevis in F major, No 1

- Kyrie (0:00)
- Gloria (1:15)
- Credo (2:52)
- Sanctus (5:34)
- Benedictus (6:37)
- Agnus Dei (9:48)

Missa in Tempore belli (Paukenmesse), No 7

1. Kyrie 00:00
2. Gloria 04:34
3. Credo 14:46
4. Sanctus 24:24
5. Benedictus 26:32
6. Agnus Dei 31:52

Stabat Mater

0:00 1. Stabat Mater dolorosa (tenor solo/chorus)
7:44 2. Quam tristis et afflicta (contralto solo)
14:10 3. Quis est homo, qui non fleret (chorus)
16:44 4. Quis non posset contristari (soprano solo)
23:04 5. Pro peccatis suae gentis (bass solo)
25:35 6. Vidit suum dulcem natum (tenor solo)
31:15 7. Eja mater, fons amoris (chorus)
35:05 8. Sancta mater istud agas (soprano/tenor)
42:50 9. Fac me vere tecum flere (contralto solo)
49:08 10. Virgo virginium praeclara (quartet/chorus)
56:38 11. Flammis orci ne succendar (bass solo)
58:42 12. Fac me cruce custodiri (tenor solo)
1:01:45 13. Quando corpus morietur...paradisi gloria (soprano & contralto soli/chorus)

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