Saturday, March 31, 2012

franz joseph haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn
(March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809)

The "Father of the Symphony" spent thirty years as a court musician on a remote estate in Austria unaware that he was a famous composer throughout Europe. Franz Joseph Haydn showed such musical talent in his youth that he was given an opportunity to study under choirmaster Johann Matthias Franck. He left the choir to work as a freelance musician until he became court conductor for Prince Esterhazy who his own orchestra. During the three decades that he spent working for the royal family, he composed furiously and his fame grew. The Prince preferred to remain at the remote Esterháza estate, which, while it had two opera houses and access to the orchestra, left Haydn lonely and depressed. He met Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during a visit to Vienna and they developed a friendship. After the death of his benefactor, Haydn travelled to London where he was hailed as one of the greatest composers of his time. He also taught the young Ludwig van Beethoven. During his seventy-seven years, Haydn produced over seven hundred and fifty musical works including one hundred and eight symphonies, sixteen overtures, eighty-three string quartets, twenty-nine dances, fifty-two sonatas, fifty-seven canons, and thirteen operas. He is also called the "Father of the String Quartet".

Symphony 92, 'Oxford'
The Oxford Symphony was completed in 1789 as one of a set of three symphonies that Haydn had been commissioned by the French Count d'Ogny. It is called the "Oxford" because Haydn reportedly conducted it at a ceremony in 1791 in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Oxford University.

1. Adagio - Allegro spiritoso (0:00)
2. Adagio (7:27)
3. Menuetto: Allegretto (13:36)

4. Finale: Presto (18:44)

Symphony 94, 'Surprise', 2nd movement
Composed during his first visit to London in 1791, it is called 'the Surprise' because of the musical joke where the quiet music is suddenly interrupted by a loud fortissimo chord before going back to the original music as if nothing happened. In German it is called the Symphony "mit dem Paukenschlag" ("with the kettledrum stroke").

Quartet No.2 in D minor, Opus 76 "Quinten"
The Opus 76 quartets were the last complete set Haydn completed. These ambitious chamber works were composed in 1796 and 1797 and dedicated to Hungarian Count Joseph Erdödy. Number 2 is known as Quinten (or Fifths) which refers to the falling perfect fifths that start the quartet.

String Quartet in C major, Op.20, No.2, Fuga a 4 Soggetti
Haydn wrote his Opus 20 string quartets in 1722 and with them earned the title "the father of the string quartet." The finale is a fugue with four subjects.

String Quartet in C major. Op.33, No 3 "The Bird" Allegro moderato and Scherzo
Written in 1781, it is the third of of the "Russian" quartets dedicated to the Grand Duke Paul of Russia. It is called "The Bird" for the avian quality of the first movement.

The Creation, The representation of Chaos
The Creation (German: Die Schöpfung) is an oratorio written between 1796 and 1798 and considered by many to be his masterpiece. The oratorio depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as described in the biblical Book of 'Genesis' and in 'Paradise Lost'. In the prelude, Haydn depicts Chaos by withholding musical cadences from the ends of phrases.

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