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Franz Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)


The son of an Austrian wheelwright, he was a chorister at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. His main position was as court composer to the Esterházy family. He was a principal figure in the emergence of the Classical style and wrote for almost every form. He was particularly important in the development of the string quartet and the symphony (writing 104 of them) and was affectionately known as 'Papa Haydn'. He is reputed to have written his Farewell Symphony as a gentle suggestion to his employer that his fellow musicians need a holiday.

Further Reading: Haydn

 Recording of the Week, Music by Haydn and Schoenberg from cellist Alisa Weilerstein

James listens to energetic, vital accounts of Haydn's two cello concertos from Alisa Weilerstein, coupled with an expressively radiant performance of Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht.

 Recording of the Week, Haydn's 'Lamentatione' from Giovanni Antonini

The Milanese conductor continues his mammoth survey of Haydn's complete symphonies with the 'Lamentatione' and 'Alleluia', performed by the Kammerorchester Basel.

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