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Haydn, Joseph

Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer who was a pivotal figure in the growth of the Classical musical form in the 18th century. He led to the development of string quartet and symphony modes and styles. Haydn was a prolific musician who wrote a lot of music. His complete production comprises 108 symphonies, one of which is missing (number 106) and one of which is currently a symphonie concertante (number 105); 68 string quartets; 32 divertimenti for small orchestra; 126 trios for baryton, viola, and cello; 29 trios for piano, violin, and cello; 21 trios for two violins and cello; 47 piano sonatas; around 20 operas; 14 The fact that an immense number of compositions were incorrectly credited to Haydn for a long time confounded his accomplishment, and it wasn't until the 1950s that musicological analysis was able to eliminate this staggering volume of dubious attributions from Haydn's known output. In the late twentieth century, work on a comprehensive catalog of his works continued. Haydn played with the prevalent stylistic styles during his childhood and early career. He was acquainted with the preceding Baroque period's pompous and complicated idiom; he then followed the bright, homosexual, and elegant musical form that was prevalent in Austria at the time; and he was later inspired by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and other north German composers' highly emotional and expressive style. He gradually developed his own distinct musical identity by combining components from all three genres at the same time. Haydn's theme started to solidify and deepen in the 1760s. The first movement of the sonata, quartet, and symphony became a little musical drama thanks to his new method of dealing with tiny motifs to tighten the fabric of the sonata type. His music took on a darker hue between 1768 and 1774, and the intellectualization that had been slowly increasing in the 1760s finally sought its natural expression in the mid-1780s, when he seems to have recovered the emotional vitality that so much of his work had missed since the early 1770s eruption. His Paris symphonies are marvels of elegance and formal excellence coupled with great profundity, especially in No. 86 in D.

Haydn's music gained a new force as a result of his London tours, but his compositions often started to take on an emotional depth that is sometimes associated with the music of an aging composer, along with a significantly enhanced nervous stress. In his late piano trios, Haydn started to play with new harmonic partnerships. As he returned to Vienna, he focused almost entirely on voice and string quartet music. His final six masses, starting from the bright Missa in tempore belli (1796) to the terse drama of the Nelson Mass in D minor, are foundations of symphonic vitality and grandeur (1798). Here, the London symphonies' perfected symphonic principles are beautifully fused with older contrapuntal styles (see counterpoint). Solo voices are combined with a vocal quartet and chorus, and the accessible powers are continuously juxtaposed. The six Erdödy quartets (Opus 76; 1797), the two Lobkowitz quartets (Opus 77; 1799), and the “Unfinished” quartet were Haydn's last instrumental pieces (Opus 103; 1803). In these compositions, he lifted the art of the quartet to a new standard that would not be exceeded until Beethoven's mature quartets. Haydn was a real Enlightenment representative. His positive outlook on life, his desire for a fusion between intellect and sentiment, and his sense of restraint, which led to the avoidance of highly discordant moods, both found excellent expression in his music and were well received by his contemporaries. The nobility and manipulative simplicity of his idiom, punctuated with charming bursts of humor, made it irresistible to music lovers. While several of Haydn's symphonies and quartets were played with some frequency long before 1850, they had all but vanished from the repertory by the end of the century, when grim, nuanced moods and ambivalent emotions were being examined in music. However, Haydn's work was revalued in the twentieth century, and his excellent thematic elaborations, his frequently entertaining humor, the originality of his modulations, and the artistry and superior craftsmanship of his orchestration were once again thoroughly recognized.


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