Haydn Heeeer's Haydn!

Heeeeer’s Haydn!

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.


  • Sajana
    July 25, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Having just heard a performance in Winchester Cathedral at the wneeked of Israel in Egypt, what about Handel – particularly in the expansive and joyous choruses of the oratorios. After all, it was Handel who inspired Haydn’s own choral music from the 1790s after he heard one of the oratorios in London, and proclaimed Handel to be “the master of us all”. Even period style performances cannot entirely diminish the grandeur of Handel’s uplifting harmonies, but certainly they are so much more sonorous when played on modern instruments. Such a work on a smaller scale as the mini opera Acis and Galatea (reviewed about a month ago)also expresses irrespressibly and irresistibly life’s vital energy and force.Incidentally, following the comments on your review of the performance of L’Enfance du Christ at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 8th December (and posted the next day), at which we were both present, I must also observe what a pleasure the performance of Israel in Egypt (by the Waynflete Singers and Florilegium) was at Winchester, without any corporate sponsorship in evidence to vulgarise the event.

  • Jim
    September 27, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Thanks Lyn – just wanted to make sure I wasn’t being too eccentric with my promotion of this piece!

  • Lyn Winter
    September 27, 2008 at 8:48 am

    A playful piece – you get the feeling he was just fiddling with it with the long separation giving the notes clarity which I quite enjoyed. If you just lie down and let it wash over you quite peaceful and relaxing.