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: Opera Overtures / Halasz, Czech Chamber Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/12/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573488   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: The Complete Overtures / Huss, Haydn Sinfonietta Wien
Release Date: 05/26/2009   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1818   Number of Discs: 2
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Haydn: Violin Concertos / Faust, Poppen, Munich Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Pan Classics  
Catalog: 10353   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Haydn & Boccherini: Cello Concertos / Du Pre
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554929  
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Work: Symphony no 100 in G major, H 1 no 100 "Military"

Browse 1-25 of 64 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $139.99
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  • 2.
    The Florilegium Series - Classical & Early Romantic
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002386502 Release Date: 10/15/2015   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Luigi Boccherini,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Hacker,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Emma Kirkby,  Michael George  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Simon Preston,  Alan Hacker,  Arnold Östman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  The Music Party,  Oxford New College Choir  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 3.
    Haydn / Abbado, Chamber Orchestra Of Europe
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002347102 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Adolph Herseth
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $25.99
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  • 4.
    Haydn: Symphonies 1-75, 94, 96, 100, 104, 107, 108 / Hogwood, AAM
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 002295902 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
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    CD: $154.99
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  • 5.
    Decca Sound  – Mono Years 1944 -1956
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002280602 Release Date: 04/07/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Clifford Curzon,  Alfredo Campoli,  Henry Datyner  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Roger Desormičre,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    CD: $205.49
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  • 6.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $235.99
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  • 7.
    Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 100
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1091 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Hans Swarowsky
    CD: $13.99
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  • 8.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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  ... 
    CD: $174.49
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  • 12.
    Joseph Haydn: Londoner Symphonien Nr. 99, 101, 100
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38063 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Spoken Word
    Conductor:  Bruno Weil
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  • 13.
    Haydn: Complete Symphonies Vol 21 / Fey, Heidelberg Symphony
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98014 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Thomas Fey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Heidelberg Symphony
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    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
    CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony; Haydn: Symphony No 100 /  Svetlanov, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1481 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Bernstein conducts Haydn - London Symphonies
    Label: Sony   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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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Haydn: 3 London Symphonies No. 95, No. 98, No. 100
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 217 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
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  • 20.
    Haydn: Symphony No. 100; Symphony No. 101; Trumpet Concerto; Overture In D Major
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 227 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
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  • 21.
    The Historical Archives - Rudolf Barshai Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9010 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Marin Marais  ... 
    Performer:  Timofei Dokshitser,  John Lill,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mark Reshetin  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Haydn: Symphonies 94 & 100 / Sanderling, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28810 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Stefan Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Haydn: Symphonies no 94
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411897 Release Date: 10/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Haydn: Symphonies 94, 100 & 101 / Sawallisch, Vienna SO
    Label: Philips Concert Classics   Catalog: 422973 Release Date: 05/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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