Joseph Haydn Essay

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Joseph Haydn


Joseph Haydn was without a doubt one of the greatest composers of his day. He was

loved very much as both a man and a musician, and unlike many other composers when he died

in 1809, he was one of the most celebrated composers in the world.

Haydn once said, "Young people can see from my example that something can still come

from nothing, but what I am is the result of dire necessity." And it was very true. The story of

Haydn was a classic story of "rags to riches." His father, Mathias Haydn (1699-1763), was a

wheelwright who after traveling through Germany settled in Rohrau, a village in Austria near the

border of Hungary. A year later, Mathias married Anna Maria Koller (1707-1754), and on
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Because his parents had a great deal of respect for the clergy, they jumped at the opportunity,

and when he was only six years old he left for Haimburg. There he was under a very strict

schedule which included lessons in reading, writing, and catechism, followed by Mass in the

church, and of course instruction in singing and playing almost all wind and string instruments.

Joseph also learned to play the timpani, and did so in a Holy Week procession. He had a deep

love for music and was very grateful for his stay at Haimburg. He once said, "I shall owe it to

that man [Franck] even in my grave that he taught me so many things, though in the process I

have received more thrashings than food."

In 1740, Karl Georg Reutter, the music director of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

came to Hainburg in search of new, young boys to replace the older ones whose voices broke.

Haydn was immediately recommended, and after singing a few pieces for Reutter, the badly

nourished boy was taken in as a new student to the Choir School at St. Stephen's Cathedral,

where he would remain for the next nine years.

Haydn loved Vienna and was impressed greatly by all the fine music surrounding the city.

his life in the Cathedral was hard, however, and the schedule once again was rigorous. There

were lessons in Latin, math, and all the academic studies, as…

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