Born: Austria, March 31, 1732 Died: Vienna May 31, 1809
Joseph (sometimes Josef) Haydn was a leading composer of the high classical period, second only to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was a friend of Mozart, and the two admired each other's work greatly. He also taught Beethoven briefly, but they didn't get along.
A lifelong resident of Austria, Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician, running the orchestra, opera company, etc. of the wealthy Esterhazy family on their remote estate, for which he had to compose most of the music. Being isolated from other composers and currents of music, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original". Unlike Mozart, he had a quiet and uneventful life.
Haydn is traditionally considered the father of the symphony and string quartet. string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string players — usually two violins, a viol and a cello http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA3tHoLBRA4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA3tHoLBRA4 He also pioneered the development of sonata form and was innovative in his writing of keyboard sonatas. He also wrote many concertos for solo instrument(s) and orchestra, with the most famous being the Trumpet Concerto in Eb. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExFLej3tdss http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExFLej3tdss
In the 1790s, having become famous for his works distributed throughout Europe, he was invited by J.P. Salomon, an impresario, to visit London. He went twice for periods of over a year each, writing the 12 "London Symphonies", including the "Surprise Symphony" (No. 94) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLjwkamp 3lI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLjwkamp 3lI
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the most popular classical composers of all time. At birth he was christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
A child prodigy from a musical family, Mozart began composing at the age of five and was showcased as a wonder-boy in the courts of Europe. His father, Leopold Mozart, was also a composer. As an adult, Mozart became. His opera The Magic Flute is widely believed to contain Masonic themes or meanings. He was in the same Masonic lodge as Joseph Haydn.
Despite his brilliance, Mozart had a difficult life. Often he received no payment for his work, and the substantial sums he received on other occasions were soon dissipated by his extravagant lifestyle. Gradually his health declined.
In popular legend, Mozart died penniless and forgotten, to be buried in a pauper's grave. In fact, although he was no longer as fashionable in Vienna as he had once been, he continued to receive large commissions from more distant parts of Europe, Prague in particular. Many of his begging letters survive, but they are evidence not of poverty but of his propensity to always spend more than he earned.
Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade for String Quartet & Bass K.525) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKhH2hR a-WQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKhH2hR a-WQ The Magic Flute opera (K.620) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h018rMn A0pM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h018rMn A0pM