One of the greatest composers of all time is Franz Joseph Haydn. Brilliant musician of Austrian origin. The man who created the foundations of the classical music school, as well as the orchestral-instrumental standard that we are seeing in our time. In addition to these achievements, Franz Josef represented the Vienna Classical School. Among musicologists there is an opinion that the symphony and quartet musical genres were first composed by Joseph Haydn. A very talented composer lived a very interesting and eventful life.
A brief biography of Joseph Haydn and many interesting facts about the composer can be found on our page.
Haydn's short biography
Haydn’s biography began on March 31, 1732, when little Joseph was born in the fair commune of Rorau (Lower Austria). His father was a wheeled master and his mother worked as a servant in the kitchen. Thanks to his father, who loved to sing, the future composer became interested in music. Absolute hearing and an excellent sense of rhythm were given by nature to little Joseph. These musical skills allowed a talented boy to sing in Heinburg’s church choir. Later, Franz Josef will be admitted to the Vienna Choir at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Stephen because of the move.
Due to his stubbornness, sixteen-year-old Joseph lost his job - a place in the choir. This happened just during a voice mutation. Now he has no income for existence. From the hopelessness of a young man takes up any work. Italian maestro vocals and composer Nicola Porpora took the youngster with him as a servant, but Joseph found benefit in this work as well. The boy delves into musical science and begins to take lessons from the teacher.
Porpora could not have noticed that Josef had genuine feelings for music, and on this basis the famous composer decides to offer the young man an interesting job - to become his personal companion-valet. In this position, Haydn was almost ten years. The maestro paid for the work mostly not with money, he was engaged free of charge with a young talent with the theory of music and harmony. So a talented young man learned many important musical foundations in different directions. Over time, Haydn slowly begins to disappear material problems, and his initial compositional works are successfully accepted by the public. At this time, the young composer wrote the first symphony.
Despite the fact that in those days it was considered already “late”, Haydn decided to create a family with Anna Maria Keller only at 28 years old. And this marriage was unsuccessful. According to his wife, Joseph had not a decent profession for a man. During two dozens of life together, the couple did not have children, which also influenced the unfortunate family history. With all these troubles, the musical genius of 20 years was a faithful husband. But the unpredictable life brought Franz Josef to a young and charming opera singer Luigia Polzelli, who was only 19 years old when they met. They suffered a passionate love, and the composer made a promise to marry her. But the passion quickly faded away, and he did not keep his promise. Haydn seeks patronage among rich and powerful people. In the early 1760s, the composer got the job - the second bandmaster at the palace of the influential Esterházy family (Austria). For 30 years, Haydn has been working at the court of this noble dynasty. During this time, he wrote a huge number of symphonies - 104.
Haydn had few close friends, but one of them was - Amadeus Mozart. Familiar composers in 1781. After 11 years, Josef is also introduced to young Ludwig van Beethoven, whom Haydn makes his pupil. The service at the palace ends with the death of the patron - Joseph loses his position. But the name Franz Joseph Haydn has already thundered not only in Austria, but also in many other countries such as: Russia, England, France. During his stay in London, the composer has earned almost as much in one year as in 20 years as his former employer as conductor of the Esterhazy family.
The last work of the composer is considered the oratorio "Seasons". He writes it with great difficulty, he was hampered by headache and sleep problems.
The great composer dies in the 78th year of his life (May 31, 1809). Joseph Haydn spent the last days at his home in Vienna. It was later decided to transport the remains to the city of Eisenstadt.
- It is believed that the birthday of Joseph Haydn March 31. But, in his testimony another date was indicated - April 1. If you believe the composer's diaries, then such an insignificant change was made in order not to celebrate your holiday on "April Fool's Day."
- Little Joseph was so talented that at 6 he knew how to play the drums! When the drummer, who was supposed to participate in the march on the Great Week, died suddenly, he was asked to replace him with Haydn. Because the future composer was not high due to the peculiarities of his age, then a hunchback walked in front of him, with a drum tied on his back, and Josef could easily play the instrument. Rare drum still exists. He is in the Heinburg church.
- Young Haydn’s singing voice was so impressive that he was asked to join the school of church-choral singing of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, when the boy was only five years old.
- Choirmaster of St. Stephen’s Cathedral proposed that Haydn be subjected to a specific operation in order to prevent the voice from breaking, but fortunately the father of the future composer stood up and prevented it.
- When the composer's mother died at 47, her father rather quickly married a young maid, who was 19 years old. The difference between the age of Haydn and stepmother was only 3 years, and the "son" was older.
- Haydn loved a girl who for some reason decided that life in a monastery was better than family life. Then the musical genius called her elder sister, Anna Maria, to marry. But this rash decision did not lead to anything good. The wife was grumpy, and not understanding the hobbies of her husband. Haydn wrote that Anna Maria used his music manuscripts as kitchen utensils.
- In the biography of Haydn there is an interesting legend about the name of the string quartet f-moll "Shaving". One morning, Haydn shaved with a dull razor, and when patience broke, he shouted that if he had been given a normal razor now, he would have given his wonderful piece for it. At this point, John Bland was nearby, a man who wanted to publish the manuscripts of the composer that no one else had seen. After what he heard, the publisher, without hesitation, handed over his English steel razors to the composer. Haydn kept his word, and presented the new work to the guest. So, the String Quartet got such an unusual name.
- It is known that Haydn and Mozart had a very strong friendship. Mozart respected and honored his friend. And if Haydn criticized the work of Amadeus or gave any advice, Mozart always listened, Joseph's opinion for the young composer was always in the first place. Despite the peculiar temperaments and the difference in age, friends had no quarrels and disagreements.
- “Miracle” is precisely such a name attributed to the symphonies No. 96 D-dur and No. 102 B-dur. All this is due to the one story that happened after the concert of this piece ended. People hurried to the stage to thank the composer and to bow before him for the beautiful music. As soon as the audience was in front of the hall behind them a chandelier fell with a roar. There were no casualties - and this was a miracle. Opinions differ on the premiere of what kind of symphony this amazing event occurred.
- The composer suffered more than half of his life with polyps in his nose. This became known to the surgeon, and concurrently to a good friend of Joseph, John Hönther. The doctor recommended to come to him for an operation, on which Haydn first decided. But when he came to the office where the operation was to take place and saw 4 big surgeon assistants whose task was to keep the patient during a painful procedure, the genius musician was frightened, pulled out and shouted loudly. In general, the idea of getting rid of polyps has sunk into summer. In childhood, Josef suffered smallpox.
- Haydn has a symphony with beats of the timpani, or it is also called "Surprise". The story of the creation of this symphony is interesting. Josef and the orchestra periodically toured London, and once he noticed how some viewers fall asleep during a concert or have beautiful dreams already watching. Haydn suggested that this happens because the British intelligentsia was not accustomed to listening to classical music and does not have any special feelings for art, but the British are a people of tradition, so they always attended concerts. The composer, the soul of the company and the merry fellow decided to act slyly. Without thinking twice, he wrote a special symphony for the English public. The piece began with quiet, smooth, almost lulling melodic sounds. Suddenly in the process of sounding drumming and the thunder of the timpani were heard. Such a surprise was repeated in the work more than once. So, Londoners no longer fell asleep in the concert halls, where Haydn conducted.
- When the composer died, he was buried in Vienna. But later it was decided to re-bury the remains of the genius of music in Eisenstadt. At the opening of the grave, it was discovered that the skull was missing from Josef. It was a trick of two friends of the composer, who took his head by bribing people to the cemetery. For almost 60 years (1895-1954) the skull of the Viennese classics was located in a museum (Vienna). Only in 1954, the remains were reunited and buried together.
- Mozart was delighted with Haydn and often invited him to his concerts and Josef reciprocated the young geezer and often played with him in a quartet. It is noteworthy that at the funeral of Haydn sounded Mozart's Requiemwho died 18 years before his friend and teacher.
- The portrait of Haydn can be found on German and Soviet postage stamps issued in 1959 to the 150th anniversary of the composer’s death, and on an Austrian coin of 5 euros.
- The German national anthem and the old Austro-Hungarian national anthem owe their music to Haydn. After all, it was his music that became the basis of these patriotic songs.
Films about Joseph Haydn
On the biography of Haydn filmed a lot of informative documentaries. All these films are interesting and exciting. Some of them tell more about the musical achievements and discoveries of the composer, and some tell various facts from the personal life of the Viennese classic. If you have a desire to get acquainted with this musician, then we offer you a short list of documentary films:
- Film company "Academy media" shot a 25-minute documentary film "Haydn" from the series "Famous Composers."
- In the Internet you can find two interesting films "In Search of Haydn". The first part lasts a little more than 53 minutes, the second 50 minutes.
- About Haydn told in some episodes from the documentary column "History of the notes." From 19 to 25 episodes, each of which last less than 10 minutes, you can explore the interesting biographical data of the great composer.
- There is a short documentary film from Chanel’s Encyclopedia about Joseph Haydn, which takes only 12 minutes.
- An interesting 11-minute film about Haydn’s absolute hearing was also easily found on the Absolute Rumor - Franz Joseph Haydn internet network.
Films featuring Haydn music
- In 2009's Sherlock Holmes, Gaia Richie sounds an adagio from string quartet No. 3 D-dur during the scene where Watson and his bride Mary dine with Holmes at a restaurant called "The Royal".
- The third part of the cello concerto is used in the 1998 English film "Hilary and Jackie".
- The piano concerto is played in Steven Spielberg’s film "Catch Me If You Can."
- The minuet of the 33rd sonata is inserted into the musical accompaniment of the film "Runaway Bride" (a continuation of the famous film "Pretty Woman").
- Adagio e cantibile from Sonata No. 59 is used in the Vampire Diaries of 1994 with Brad Pitt in the title role.
- The sounds of the string quartet B-dur "Sunrise" are heard in the 1997 horror film Relic.
- In the magnificent film "The Pianist", which received 3 Oscars, the quartet No. 5 of Haydn sounds.
- Also string quartet number 5 comes from music to the movie "Star Trek: Uprising" of 1998 and "Fort
- Symphonies No. 101 and No. 104 can be found in the 1991 movie "The Lord of the Tides".
- The 33rd string quartet is used in the comedy George of the Jungle 1997.
- The third part of the string quartet No. 76 “The Emperor” can be found in the films “Casablanca” 1941, “Bulworth” 1998, “Cheap Detective” 1978, and “The Dirty Dozen”.
- Concerto for trumpet and orchestra sounds in "Big Business" with Mark Wahlberg.
- In the "Bicentennial Man" in the book of the fictional science fiction writer Isaac Asimov you can hear Haydn's symphony No. 73 "The Hunt".
Haydn House Museum
In 1889, the Haydn Museum was opened in Vienna, which is located in the house of the composer. For 4 years, Josef slowly built his "corner" with the money earned during the tour. Initially, there was a low house, which, at the behest of the composer, was rebuilt, adding floors. The second floor was the residence of the musician himself, and below he settled his assistant Elsper, who copied the notes of Haydn.
Almost all the exhibits in the museum are the personal property of the composer during his lifetime. Handwritten notes, painted portraits, a tool for which Haydn worked, and other interesting things. Unusually, the building has a small room designed Johannes Brahms. Johannes greatly respected and honored the work of the Viennese classics. This room is filled with his personal belongings, furniture and tools.
Unfortunately, when people talk about Viennese classics, they first of all remember Ludwig van beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But many musicologists believe that if there were no such brilliant composer as Franz Joseph Haydn, we would not have learned about the other greatest talents of the era of classicism. Haydn's compositions and compositions stood at the origins of all classical music and gave her the opportunity to develop and improve to the present day.