Franz Joseph Haydn

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Austrian classical composer who invented the Sonata-Allegro form.

  • Born March 31, 1732 in Rohrau, Austria
  • 1739-1749 Haydn became a choirboy at Stephansdom in Vienna, where his musical education was directed by Georg Reutter. He studied singing, harpsichord, and violin, and sang both at St. Stephan's and at the court of Maria Theresa.
  • 1751-1760 Haydn was a freelance musician, teacher, and composer in Vienna. At first he lived in Michaelerhaus, attached to Vienna's Michaelerkirche, in what he described as squalid conditions, making his living initially as a private music teacher, composing late at night. As time went on, however, he made many musical friends, enjoyed some temporary patronage, and received advice on composition from the famous Italian musician Porpora. His Organ Concerto in C major, H XVIII:1, was dated 1756, and his compositional output "increased exponentially" (see the Oxford article cited below) during this time.
  • 26 November 1760 Haydn was married to Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller. The marriage was unhappy, and the couple had no children.
  • 1761-1790 Haydn enjoyed the patronage of the Esterhazy court, first as vice-Kapellmeister, the Kapellmeister, and later as a freelance composer. He became responsible all instrumental, vocal, and stage music at the court, secular at first, then later sacred as well after the elderly Kapellmeister passed away and Haydn succeeded him. Haydn's early compositions at court included many symphonies as well as solo instrumental works. He followed the court as it moved throughout the year, living in Esterhaza castle, Eisenstadt, and Vienna.
  • 1766-1790 Haydn became Kapellmeister and began composing many religious works, including the Great Organ Mass and the Little Organ Mass. Haydn's religious compositions usually included voices, orchestra, and organ obligato. The organ part was often played by Haydn himself.
  • 1776-1783 The Esterhazy's built a stage at Esterhaza Castle and began living there nearly all year. Haydn began composing numerous operas, and his symphonic and other instrumental work declined during this period. However, in 1783, Haydn stopped composing operas.
  • 1779-1790 Haydn became able to support himself through the sale and performance of his instrumental works. During this time period much of his musical life occurred in Vienna, although he still spent most of the year in the country at Esterhaza. In Vienna he became friends with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and met the young Ludwig van Beethoven.
  • 1791-1795 Haydn travelled and worked in London, where he composed his works for "Flute Clock," or mechanical flute organ, along with numerous other famous works. In London he experienced the height of his fame and of his compositional output.
  • 1792 Haydn began teaching Beethoven.
  • 1795 Haydn, now famous, returned to Vienna full-time.
  • 1797 Haydn composed his oratorio, "The Creation."
  • 1799-1803 Haydn's musical activity declined due to age. By 1803 he no longer composed.
  • Died May 31, 1809 in Vienna, Austria

For details, see the Wikipedia article on Joseph Haydn[1].

All Music article on Haydn's musical importance

Oxford Music Online biography of Haydn (subscription required)

List of Organ Works[edit]

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Here are some general distinguishing characteristics of Haydn's organ works:

  • Sonata-Allegro form, often lacking secondary themes in the exposition, with the development more contrapuntal
  • Registration relatively simple, often for flutes or clear principals
  • less or no pedal use, “easy” keys due to Haydn's keyboard inclinations and also to the restrictions imposed by organs he had access to (shortened keyboards and incomplete pedal ranks)
  • lots of "filigree" flourishes in manual work.

Registration and Organs[edit]

Early in his career, Haydn lived near and played the organ at Michaelerkirche in Vienna, which is still extant. This organ has 2 manuals and a set of pedals, each of which is shortened and only includes select notes below A 110 Hz at the 8' pitch. This organ is consistent with Haydn's organ compositions in both range and registration possibilities.

Here are some photos of the Michaelerkirche organ: Example.jpg



See the footnote in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the page[1]

Fingering and Pedaling[edit]

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Articulation and Phrasing[edit]

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Tempo and Meter[edit]

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  • 32 pieces for mechanical flute organ (Spieluhrstücke),_Hob.XIX:1-32_(Haydn,_Joseph)

  • 3 concertos in C Major (1760):

Concerto per l’organo: no. 1,_Hob.XVIII:1_(Haydn,_Joseph) Concerto per l’organo: no. 2 is available in the Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, call #M 1108 .H3 H.XVIII,8 1962


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Free Online[edit]

Haydn: Organ Concerto no. 1 in C major:

Haydn: Organ Concerto no. 2 in C major:

Haydn: Organ Concerto no. 3 in C major:

Haydn: Little Organ Mass:

Haydn: Great Organ Mass:

Haydn: Three pieces for Flute Clock:

Haydn: Works for Flute Clock, Hob. XIX, arranged for organ:

Other Resources[edit]

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  1. This footnote was entered in the "Registration and Organs" section

This space is for automatic insertion of footnotes. To enter a footnote from anywhere in the article, start by typing the tag <ref> and then enter the text, and type the tag </ref> to end the footnote. The footnote will then appear in this "Notes" section automatically.