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: The Creation / Kirkby, Hogwood, AAM
Release Date: 01/08/2008   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 000830509   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: Symphonies 101 & 103 / Glover, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/11/2008   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28490   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 102, 104
Release Date: 07/13/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28420   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: Symphonies 43, 44, 45 / Sanderling, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 04/12/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28940   Number of Discs: 1
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Haydn: String Quartets
Release Date: 02/08/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28620   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 100 in G major, H 1 no 100 "Military"

Browse 1-25 of 78 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1091 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
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  • 2.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, 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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  • 3.
    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! $149.98
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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  ... 
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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
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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
    CD: $24.99
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  • 9.
    Bruno Walter - The Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548952 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Hendl,  John Corigliano Sr.,  Leonard Rose,  Martha Lipton  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Occidental College Consort,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 10.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    The Art Of Wolfgang Sawallisch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4807707 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Wilma Lipp,  Franz Crass,  Aafje Heynis,  Elly Ameling  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Leipzig Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 13.
    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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  • 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.
    Haydn: 3 London Symphonies No. 95, No. 98, No. 100
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0217 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
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  • 17.
    Haydn: Symphony No. 100; Symphony No. 101; Trumpet Concerto; Overture In D Major
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0227 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    CD: $9.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 99-104
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 28487 Release Date: 05/18/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players
    CD: $12.99
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 45, 48, 92, 94, 100 & 101
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 680 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
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