Papa Haydn

Affectionately nicknamed 'Papa Haydn', the prolific eighteenth-century Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn continues to appeal to today's classical music audiences.

The musician's daughter
Susanne Dunlap.
New York : Bloomsbury, 2009.
Murder and love--from the halls of Vienna's imperial family to a perilous gypsy camp Amid the glamour of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy's court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father's mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father's secret life. It's there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor--and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget.
The New Grove Haydn
James Webster and Georg Feder.
New York : Grove, 2002.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Classical music : the era of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven
Philip G Downs.
New York : W.W. Norton, 1992.
The latest volume in the Norton Introduction to Music History series focuses on the rise and decline of the Classical style, which flourished from the middle of the eighteenth century to the second decade of the nineteenth. The author demonstrates the enormous diversity and constant change that characterized music and musical life during this period. Downs eschews the usual stylistic labels, such as Rococo and High Classic, and instead organizes the text into short time spans. Within each, he looks to the social conditions and daily life of the musician, the aesthetics and audience preference in structures, performing combinations, and performing styles. The minor composers, or kleinmeister, are carefully observed, since they most accurately mirror their times. On the other hand, the giants, who left their mark on music for all time, receive full biographical scrutiny at each stage of their development. Book jacket.

Born near Vienna in 1732, Haydn’s musical talent drew him to that city, the musical center of the classical period (1750-1825). By the 1780s Haydn was one of its superstars.

In 1761 when the aristocracy and nobility still were the major supporters of musical life, Haydn was hired by to oversee the musical affairs of the Esterhazy family. Haydn's position as the Esterhazy Kapellmeister (music director) for over thirty years helped change music forever.

As Kapellmeister Haydn had the opportunity to both compose for and direct the orchestra funded by Count Esterhazy. The Count expected concerts twice a week from 2-4 pm and Haydn was always ready with selections, many of them his own compositions. Most of his 100+ symphonies were composed during these years.

Haydn's titled symphonies include:

No. 85 Queen - supposed to be Marie Antoinette's favorite

No. 92 Oxford - Hayden received a degree from this university

No. 94 Surprise - for the loud chord heard in the andante movement

No. 101 Clock - for the tick-tock rhythm in the second movement 

Thanks to his abilities and genial character, Haydn was popular with both his employers and members of the orchestra (they were among the first to refer to him as 'Papa Haydn').

Haydn influenced other Viennese superstar composers. Ludwig van Beethoven took composition lessons from Haydn and would dedicate a set of string quartets to Haydn. Haydn worked with and became friends with a young Mozart. Both would refer affectionately to him as 'Papa Haydn'.

Haydn's compositions helped develop the principles of string quartets that remain today. His mastery of the symphonic form (especially in his London and Paris symphonies) laid the foundations for later symphonies by other composers. Because of that, many music lovers consider Haydn the father of modern music and use the nickname 'Papa Haydn' to refer to this masterful composer.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff