Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)
It took me long enough to get around to him! I just had no idea how inovative, spontanous and delightful his music is. I’d only heard a handful of pieces and they brought to mind folks in powdered wigs dancing around stiffly! How wrong I was. Here are a few comments about him and his music:
By one estimate, Haydn produced some 340 hours of music, more than Bach or Handel, Mozart or Beethoven. Few of them lack some unexpected detail or clever solution to a formal problem. …. – In many ways Franz Joseph Haydn, the quintessential composer of the period of eighteenth century Enlightenment, is the father of modern music.
Haydn treated composing more as an exalted craft in which he delighted in endlessly experimenting. A close look at his music reveals many daring gambits of harmony and form. His endless humor and wit are palpable as is the warmth of his humanity. As Haydn once wrote, “Since God has given me a cheerful heart, He will forgive me for serving him cheerfully.”
***I also found a reference to his being the ‘least neurotic’ of the Great composers! ***
Inventive, playful and humorous, not neurotic!, willing to experiment … and a Master composer. What else could you want?!
This first piece is so cool! So Zen. BUT Not for everyone!
The silences are as important as the music … AND you have to wonder: “What’s gonna’ happen next?! Keep in mind this is the 18th century! – not a modern L.A. or Paris jazz pianist! UPDATE 18 months later: I only just heard it now. This is one of those pieces where Glenn Gould would hum along with his piano playing! You can just hear him in the background. I think most recording companies removed the humming!
From the last 6 Sonatas: Hoboken XVI – no. 48 Andante con espressione
One of his famous Symphonies: “The London” / Finale
Symphony-no104-London op180 finale spiritoso
Symphony #3 in G major / second movement Just “kick back”!
Symphony 3 g-major 2nd movement
Haydn is often called the father of the symphony: in fact Haydn is more literally the father of the string quartet … Re: The following “Sun Quartets” – The music is broader and richer than in Haydn’s earlier, simpler quartets, with more interesting interplay (interesting for both listeners and performers) among the instruments.
String Quartet 28 third movement affetuoso-e-sostenuto
And finally – here is a fascinating look into the man himself.