Franz Joseph Haydn

Biography

Born: 1732   Died: 1809   Country: Austria   Period: Classical
Franz Joseph Haydn is the composer who, more than any other, epitomizes the aims and achievements of the Classical era. Perhaps his most important achievement was that he developed and evolved in countless subtle ways the most influential structural principle in the history of music: his perfection of the set of expectations known as sonata form made an epochal impact. In hundreds of instrumental sonatas, string quartets, and symphonies, Haydn Read more both broke new ground and provided durable models; indeed, he was among the creators of these fundamental genres of classical music. His influence upon later composers is immeasurable; Haydn's most illustrious pupil, Beethoven, was the direct beneficiary of the elder master's musical imagination, and Haydn's shadow lurks within (and sometimes looms over) the music of composers like Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.

Part and parcel of Haydn's formal mastery was his famous sense of humor, his feeling for the unpredictable, elegant twist. In the Symphony No. 94 ("Surprise") (1791), the composer tweaks those audience members who typically fall asleep during slow movements with the sudden, completely unexpected intrusion of a fortissimo chord during a passage of quietude. Haydn's pictorial sense is much in evidence works like his epic oratorio The Creation (1796-1798), in which images of the cosmos taking shape are thrillingly, movingly portrayed in tones. 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.

Haydn was prolific not just because he was a tireless worker with an inexhaustible musical imagination, but also because of the circumstances of his musical career: he was the last prominent beneficiary of the system of noble patronage that had nourished European musical composition since the Renaissance. Born in the small Austrian village of Rohrau, he became a choirboy at St. Stephen's cathedral in Vienna when he was eight. After his voice broke and he was turned out of the choir, he eked out a precarious living as a teenage freelance musician in Vienna. His fortunes began to turn in the late 1750s as members of Vienna's noble families became aware of his music, and on May 1, 1761, he went to work for the Esterházy family. He remained in their employ for the next 30 years, writing many of his instrumental compositions and operas for performance at their vast summer palace, Esterháza.

Musical creativity may often, it is true, meet a tragic end, but Haydn lived long enough to reap the rewards of his own imagination and toil. The Esterházys curtailed their musical activities in 1790, but by that time Haydn was known all over Europe and widely considered the greatest living composer. (He himself deferred to Mozart in that regard, and the friendly competition between the two composers deepened the music of both.) Two trips to London during the 1790s resulted in two sets of six symphonies each (among them the "Surprise" symphony) that remain centerpieces of the orchestral repertoire. Haydn's final masterpieces included powerful choral works: the Creation and Seasons oratorios and a group of six masses. Haydn stopped composing in 1803, after which he prefaced his correspondence with a little musical quotation (from one of his part-songs) bearing the text "Gone is all my strength; I am old and weak." He died in Vienna on May 31, 1809. Read less
Haydn: Songs / Elly Ameling, Jörg Demus
Release Date: 05/05/2009   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93768   Number of Discs: 3
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Haydn: Symphonies 92, 93, 97-99 / Davis, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 08/12/2014   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 702   Number of Discs: 2
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Ronald Brautigam Plays Joseph Haydn Concertos / Mortensen
Release Date: 03/01/2005   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1318   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: The Creation / Popp, Luxon, Tennstedt, London Po
Release Date: 02/21/2006   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 8   Number of Discs: 2
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Haydn: Complete Music For Solo Keyboard / Ronald Brautigam
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1731/3   Number of Discs: 15
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Work: Symphony no 104 in D major, H 1 no 104 "London"

Browse 1-25 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    100 Great Symphonies
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054602 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Sammartini,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf,  Johann Christian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Hanna Schwarz,  René Kollo,  Kurt Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Kevin Mallon,  Christopher Hogwood,  Thomas Füri,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aradia Ensemble,  Academy of Ancient Music,  Camerata Bern  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 2.
    Haydn: Symphonies 92, 94, 104 & 99; Schubert: Symphony No 6 / Krips
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002069702 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Haydn: London Symphonies, The Seasons / Beecham
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 846032 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Elsie Morison,  Alexander Young,  Michael Langdon
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society
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  • 4.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 5.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Celibidache - The Berlin Recordings 1945-1957
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21423 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Raoul Koczalski
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $58.99
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  • 7.
    Haydn: Symphonies No 102-104 / Minkowski
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40025 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
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  • 8.
    Haydn: 12 London Symphonies / Fischer, Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94601 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Adám Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Haydn, Mozart: Symphonies / Groves, English Sinfonia
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1084 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Sinfonia
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  • 10.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 11.
    Haydn: Symphony No. 60 (
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9663 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Maya Tamir
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi
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  • 12.
    Bach, Rameau, Handel, Gluck, Haydn / Otto Klemperer [8-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 484332 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Christoph W. Gluck,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 13.
    The Art Of Sir Georg Solti
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1037609 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Zoltán Kodály,  Leó Weiner,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandru Agache,  Tamás Daróczy,  Julia Varády,  Iris Vermillion  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Hungarian Radio/TV Chorus,  Budapest Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Bernstein Conducts Haydn - London Symphonies
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 1991762 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 15.
    Great Classical Symphonies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501060 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Manfred Fink,  Hasmik Papian,  Ruxandra Donose,  Claudio Otelli
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Béla Drahos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Nicolaus Esterházy Chorus
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  • 16.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0484 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
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  • 17.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0521 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Leonie Rysanek,  Giorgio Tozzi,  Regina Resnik,  David [Tenor Vocal] Lloyd
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
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  • 18.
    Celibidache Vol 1 - Symphonies / Munich Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85566 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Helen Donath,  Doris Soffel,  Peter Lika
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $95.99
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  • 19.
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 7; Haydn: Symphony No. 104
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001104 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    CD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Haydn: Symphonies 88, 101 & 104 / McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque
    Label: Philharmonia Baroque (Label)   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
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  • 21.
    George Szell Conducts Haydn
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7687792 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Classical Tradition  / Beecham
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09946 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elsie Morison,  Alexander Young,  Michael Langdon,  Gioconda De Vito
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beecham Choral Society,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Nikolaus Harnoncourt: The Symphony Collection
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 690049 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 102, 104
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28420 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Jane Glover
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Haydn: 12 London Symphonies / Minkowski, Les Musiciens Louvre
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5176 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre
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