Which musicians have the best lifetime achievement

Joseph Haydn | Official biography

Franz Joseph Haydn was born on March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Lower Austria. When he died on May 31, 1809 at the age of 77 in Gumpendorf near Vienna, he had changed western music more profoundly than any composer before or after him and he could look back on one of the happiest artistic existences we know of.
"I was separated from the world, nobody in my vicinity could mislead and torment me, and so I had to become original." If you want to appreciate Haydn's genius appropriately, you have to use his most famous quote to see what: " to be original "meant for him. Because a large proportion of the ingredients of Viennese classical music that are taken for granted today, the symphony, the string quartet, the piano sonata, the oratorio or the sonata form are Joseph Haydn's creations or ideas. Without Haydn's life's work, the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms or Bruckner would never have been composed in the form we know and love.
Joseph Haydn was born the son of a wheelwright. His parents could not read music, but the family loved music, as evidenced by the later careers of his brothers Michael (composer) and Johann Evangelist (tenor). Haydn's musical talent was recognized early on and at the age of five he came to live with relatives in Hainburg an der Donau to be trained as a choirboy. Two years later he was "discovered" by Georg von Reutter, the musical director of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Reutter took the child with him to Vienna, where Joseph was a chorister for the next seven years, trained on various instruments and began to compose It was over for Haydn with the high registers in 1749. During the next ten years, the most arduous of his life, he tried to establish himself as a freelance musician and to train himself as a composer, largely self-sufficient Composer Niccola Porpora as valet and traveling companion and was also his pupil composed an alternative ending), is dated to the year 1757.
Probably in the same year Haydn got his first important job, at the court of Count Karl von Morzin at Lukavec Castle near Pilsen. There he directed a small orchestra for which he composed his earliest symphonies. Due to financial difficulties, Count Morzin had to give up his orchestra business a little later, but Haydn was quickly offered a similar position: In 1761 he joined the court staff of one of the most powerful personalities of the entire Danube monarchy, Prince Esterházy, as vice conductor.
Haydn spent most of his career from 1761 to 1790 in the service of the highly cultivated and very wealthy Hungarian princely family Esterházy, who valued and promoted Haydn's work and music in general. In 1766, after the death of the previous court conductor, he himself rose to this position. The duties of a court conductor at such an exposed court involved an enormous amount of work. At the family's three headquarters, Haydn was responsible both as a composer and as a performing musician for the management of the permanent orchestra, for chamber music soirées and the summer opera business, which also included the re-arranging and composing of operas. He had to deliver a huge number of commissioned works for practically seamless occasions, which, however, in no way depressed him, on the contrary, fueled him and, as numerous sources attest, filled him with happiness. As his music became more and more well-known and popular, in addition to his courtly obligations, he soon composed almost as much for numerous other clients as he did for his landlord. Important composition commissions, for example for the Paris symphonies (1785–86), or the original orchestral version of the Seven last words of our Savior on the Cross (1786) came from abroad.

From around 1781, Haydn became close friends with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in whose career he took a passionate interest and whom he had a major influence. In 1785, during a visit to the family in Vienna, Mozart's father Leopold explained his assessment of the young genius with the words that are still famous today: “I tell you before God, as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer I have personally Name after know; he has taste and, moreover, the greatest science of composition. "Mozart and Haydn enjoyed making chamber music together and pushed each other to excel in composing, especially in the genre of the string quartet. In addition to music, the two men were also linked by their membership in Freemasonry From 1785 Haydn belonged to the lodge To true unity in which also Mozart, in addition to his membership in the lodge To charity, Was journeyman.
Haydn also influenced Ludwig van Beethoven's development. From 1792 he shared the role of Beethoven's composition teacher with Antonio Salieri. Beethoven dedicated his first three to him Piano sonatas op.2.
Stylistically, Joseph Haydn's music has continuously developed into increasingly complex, freer and sometimes daring forms during the thirty years in the service of the Esterházys. Without question, he was the kind of artist who wanted to keep experimenting and learning, which explains the enormous attraction his personality had on younger composers.

The year 1790 represented a major turning point in Haydn's life, which, however, should in turn lead to a very positive development. Prince Nikolaus I von Esterházy died and his successor, Prince Anton, who had to deal with his father's gigantic mountain of debt, was far less interested in music and dissolved all court music.
At the age of 58, Haydn found himself quite suddenly as a freelance musician. He finally accepted a call to England, where his symphonies, which he was able to perform there with a large orchestra, met with a tremendous response. Haydn traveled to London several times until 1795, each time with overwhelming success, which brought him great fame and considerable fortune.
In 1793 Haydn bought a large house with a garden in Gumpendorf, then a suburb, now part of Vienna. There he turned increasingly to the composition of great sacred works. His last trip to England, during which he heard some of the most famous works by George Frideric Handel, inspired him to compose his great oratorios The creation and The seasons. Both works, as well as six other masses, were again commissioned by the Esterházy family, which since 1794 was again led by a more musical head, Prince Nikolaus II.
The premiere of the Seasons and the last three string quartets, that Imperial Quartet, the Quartet of fifths and The sunrise, mark the end of Haydn's brilliant path. From 1802 onwards, due to his poor physical condition, he was no longer able to compose, although despite his advanced age he was still fully motivated. "How much remains to be done in this splendid art!" He wrote in a letter that has become famous.
Numerous, independent sources describe Joseph Haydn as a small, amiable and sociable man who was at peace with himself and the world. He was considered kind-hearted, generous and optimistic, and was popular everywhere for his quite coarse humor, which was also often expressed in his compositions: Haydn did not shrink from suddenly letting all the musicians play at a concert in order to attract the audience frighten. Not a single plausible image of his face has come down to us. Since all the portrait painters of his life tried to conceal an unfavorable, scarred appearance, none of his portraits are the same as the other.
108 symphonies, 52 piano sonatas, 83 string quartets, 46 piano trios, 14 masses, 6 oratorios, 24 operas and the German national anthem form the core of Joseph Haydn's gigantic oeuvre. The German hymn is actually the theme of the slow movement from Haydn's String Quartet in C major op.76 No. 3, the Imperial Quartet from 1797. In the same year Haydn had this theme for the song God Save Francis the Emperor composed and later varied in the string quartet.
On March 27, 1808, Joseph Haydn appears at a performance of Creation, in which Ludwig van Beethoven also takes part, for the last time in public. On May 31, 18 days after the occupation of Vienna by Napoleon's troops, he died of general exhaustion.