He is considered by some people to be one of the most famous composers of the classical period. His career grew with the development of classical style and forms, with the symphony, sonata, string quartet, and other instrumental forms, in the moulding of which he played an important part. Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau in 1732, the son of a wheelwright, he trained as a chorister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, where he made an early living. He worked as a freelance musician, playing the violin and the keyboard instruments, accompanying for singing lessons given by the composer Porpora, who helped and encouraged him ( Boynick, 1). In this essay, I will discuss a brief overview of Joseph Haydn’s life. I will also talk about some of the pieces he has composed and how they changed music forever.
In 1759 he was appointed music director to Count Morzin; but he soon moved, into service as Vice-Kapellmeister with one of the leading Hungarian families, the Esterhazys, becoming full Kapellmeister in 1766 (Boynick, 1). He was director of an ensemble of generally some 15-20 musicians, with the responsibility for the music and the instruments, and was required to compose as his employer from 1762, Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy (Boynick, 1). At first he lived at Eisenstadt, 30 miles southeast of Vienna, by 1767 the family’s residence, and Haydn’s chief place to work at was at the palace of Eszterhaza. In his early years Haydn chiefly wrote instrumental music, including symphonies, and other pieces for the twice-weekly concerts and the prince’s Tafelmusik, and works for the instrument played by the prince, the baryton (a kind of viol), for whichHe composed circa 125 trios in ten years (Boynick, 1). After that, Haydn expanded h…
…God for his creation of these things to our benefit (Boynick, 3). He then followed this piece with The Seasons, which is very similar, but is separated into sections rather than a whole.
Haydn died in 1809 after twice dictating his recollections and preparing a catalogue of his works (Boynick, 3). He was widely revered, even though by the time of his death, his music was old-fashioned compared with Beethoven’s. Some of his music remains unpublished and still unknown. His operas have never succeeded in holding the stage, but he is regarded as the father of the symphony and the string quartet. He saw both genres from their beginnings to a high level of sophistication and artistic expression, even if he did not originate them (Boynick, 3). He brought to them a new intellectual level and his closely argued style of development paved the way for new composers.