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The Life and Work of Joseph Hayden - Essay Example

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The Life and Work of Joseph Hayden

Hayden was by all accounts a healthy, fun loving person equally loved by friends and admirers, and his works are known for their humor with several false endings and the occasionally chord that stands out above the rest. He died a celebrity, though born in humble settings. Music came his name, fame and considerable wealth. The performance of the Creation, organized in his honor the year before he died was attended by the who’s who of European music as well several members of the aristocracy. This paper is an exposition of his life and work and is the author’s tribute to one of the greatest composers of the western world. The classical period of western music is widely considered to be between 1750 and 1830; and followed by the Baroque period that began circa 1600. The classical period is thus named due to the general adulation for classical antiquity, particularly Ancient Greece, that permeated all creative fields such as Art, Architecture and the sciences. There was a general appreciation for grandeur and the preference for simplicity and homophony over the polyphony of the Baroque period. While Bach was one of the leading maestros of the previous era, the classical period will bear the names of Hayden and Mozart. ...
Hayden grew up in the village in a musical environment, with frequent singing sessions in his house and the village. From this rustic musical setting to the sophistication of Austrian music was a big leap for the young Haydn; one that would not be accomplished without a great deal of suffering. Haydn being musically gifted, his uncle Johann Matthias Frankh, the schoolmaster and choirmaster in Hainburg, took him in as his ward so that he could receive formal training in Music. Haydn went with Frank to Hainburg when he was six years old and never again lived with his parents. For reasons that are not really clear – perhaps due to poverty or simply due to indifference, Haydn was not fed very well in this household and writes of being constantly hungry. However, he did learn to play the violin and the harpsichord. He also played treble parts in the church choir, which soon attracted the attention of the general public. After here, he was accepted as the ward of Georg von Reutter, the director of music in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna in 1740 moved to Vienna, where he worked for the next nine years as a chorister and his younger brother Michael joined him in 1745. However, he still continued to be hungry though Reutter did give his education in Latin, the languages and the violin (Geiringer & Geiringer). Moreover, St Stephen’s Cathedral was at the center of Austrian Musical tradition and Haydn benefitted enormously simply by means of the exposure and collaboration that he was able to form there. With his physical maturity, he was soon unable to be a choirboy any longer and by 1749, declared his independence from Reutter, and began work as a freelance musician. The time as a freelance musician is not particularly fun to anyone but given ...Show more


The life and work of Joseph Hayden Joseph Hayden is one of the towering figures in the classical period of Western Music and is credited with such innovations as the creation of the Symphony, the String Quartet, the piano trio and the sonata form – all which still find application by musicians today…
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