Great Classical Composers/Haydn


The aim  and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.”                                                                                             -Johann Sebastian Bach


“In The Name Of The Lord”

Who was Franz Joseph Haydn?

Firstly, like his predecessor Bach, he was a man who had respect for his God.  Indeed, he would usually dedicate each performance  to the glory of God , with such words as “in nomine Domini” (“in the name of the Lord”).


Today we take a snippet into the  life of the “most celebrated composer of his time,’ Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 -1809),

"Papa" Haydn Most celebrated composer of his time
“Papa” Haydn
Most celebrated composer of his time

– affectionately known as “Papa.”


Haydn  has been acclaimed as “the  principal engineer of the classical style,” and his influence knew no boundaries.  Among those his music impacted were Mozart and  Ludwig van Beethoven, who was  also his student.

Born in Rohrau, Austria in 1732, Haydn – among all his many accomplishments –  was the developer of the string quartet. He performed as a keyboardist and had a major influence on symphonic composition.

Chorister At Five

At aged five , Hayden was asked to join the school choir at St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.  There, he learned singing, harpsichord, violin and theory.

That boy doesn’t sing, he crows”

However, began to go downhill for Haydn, when, at aged 16,  he  lost his angelic voice. He left the choir after his voice was described by Habsburg Empress, Maria Theresa, as crowing, instead of singing.

Nasal Polyps

It was later discovered that Haydn had developed Nasal polyps, in which his nose had a bulbous and disfigured look to it. This, at times became so uncomfortable, he was unable to compose.

The Miracle Symphony

During the premiere of Haydn’s  symphony No.96, a chandelier fell from the ceiling, but miraculously  no one was injured. Thus it became  known as the miracle symphony.

National Anthems

Haydn spent several years in London composing symphonies and it was there he created a piece which is still used as the national anthems for both Austria and Germany.

A Musical Prankster 

Not only did Haydn have a keen  sense of humor,  but was also  known as a prankster.  As a chorister, he cut the pigtail of another boy chorister and was canned in public.  This humor also translated into  his music  such as his string quartet in E-flat (sub-titled the “Joke”), in which there are false endings in an effort to “catch” the audience.

Napoleon & Haydn

In 1809, Napoleon invaded Vienna. However, Haydn, now ailing,  had gained such respect all across Europe that he was given protection.   In fact, Napoleon had assigned two sentries to guard Haydn so that he wouldn’t have to move.

Mozart Effect

Friends, contemporaries, and musical greats, Mozart and Haydn invited each other to their musical performances. In fact, so strong was the bond that  Mozart’s Requiem was the music played at Haydn’s funeral in 1809.


Any comments, questions and suggestions will be are greatly appreciated.


Sources: San Francisco Classical Voice & Classic FM, the world’s greatest music.