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Franz Joseph Haydn:
The Farewell Symphony


Every year, when the weather turned nice, Prince Esterhazy -- Franz Joseph Haydn's employer -- moved his entire household to his summer palace. When it turned cold again, everyone moved back to the main palace in the city. But one fall, it stayed warm for a very long time, and the prince didn't budge. The musicians in his orchestra wanted to go home, and Haydn found a musical way to tell the prince it was time to go: the Farewell Symphony.

Music heard in this episode:
Haydn: Symphony #45 (Farewell)

Other shows about Franz Joseph Haydn:
About Franz Joseph Haydn
Father of the Symphony
Minuets
Patriotic Songs By Classical Composers

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About Franz Joseph Haydn
3/31/1732 - 5/31/1809
Born in Austria

Franz Joseph Haydn was the most famous composer of his time. He helped develop new musical forms, like the string quartet and the symphony. In fact, even though he didn't invent it, Haydn is known as the "Father of the Symphony."

Haydn was born in the tiny Austrian town of Rohrau, where his father made huge wooden carts and wagonwheels. His mother was a cook. When he was 8, Joseph (he didn't go by Franz) went to Vienna to sing in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral, and to attend the choir school. His younger brother Michael joined him a short time later. Joseph could never resist a playing a joke, which got him in trouble at school. Since Michael Haydn was much better behaved than his brother, everyone thought he would be the more successful musician. Wrong!

At first, Haydn struggled to earn a living as a composer. Then, he got a job with a rich, powerful family named Esterhazy. It was Haydn's job to write music for the Esterhazy princes, and to conduct their orchestra. Haydn composed symphonies, operas, string quartets, and all kinds of other music for performance at the Esterhazy court.

Haydn was also a good businessman. Music publishing made him and his music famous all over Europe. After he retired from working for the Esterhazy family, Haydn made two very successful trips to England, where audiences at concerts of his music treated him like a superstar.

See other composers born in Austria

 

This Week's Quiz:

1. What was the name of the prince for whom Haydn worked?

Charles Mountbatten-Windsor

Frederick William

Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark

Nicolaus Esterhazy


2.Haydn's Farewell Symphony was his

8th

12th

45th

80th

100th


3. In Haydn's day, musicians were considered servants.

True

False



 

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