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This year marks 200 years of Haydn’s death. Haydn, unlike many others, is a composer for which it is hard to pick favorite work(s). When his name is mentioned, the first thing that comes to our mind is – symphony. Indeed not only that Haydn is  considered a ‘father of symphony’ as a musical form, he wrote an impressive number of these - 104. Despite the number, the record for most symphonies written belongs to a contemporary Finnish composer Leif Segerstam (he recently finished his 230th symphony). The impact Haydn had on orchestral music overshadowed his impact on chamber music – Haydn is also considered the father of string quartet (interestingly his string quartets are his only works still frequently listed with opus numbers rather than Hob. numbers from Anthony van Hoboken’s extensive catalogue). This immense impact on the future of classical music earned him a nickname ‘Papa Haydn’. This nickname is avoided today because it seems too diminutive for a composer of this significance and stature (maybe his nickname started the frenzy of nicknaming his works – he has the most ‘named’ works in musical history – majority of nicknames were given by others and not Haydn). His concertos, rather unjustly overshadowed by Mozart’s and Beethoven’s in current repertoire, deal with a variety of instruments: cello, piano (or better said keyboard concertos), horn, trumpet, violin, clarinet, flute and lira organizzata. But if any part of his legacy has been put into a dark corner than those are certainly his 24 operas. Haydn left us also 14 masses, numerous piano sonatas and string trios, three oratorios, and Te Deum and a requiem. The influence this man had on classical music cannot be summed in one blog entry….

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“I read somewhere that Haydn earned the nickname "Papa" because he really took care of the musicians under his baton at the Esterházy estate. He was known for his warm demeanor and humor (displayed in the Surprise and Farewell symphonies).”
Posted over 5 years ago
Alen Hadzovic replies:
“Yes, that is also one of the stories... he did take great care for people working with him... yet another story says that his influence on his contemporaries was so immense that all of them looked at him like at father...”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Joseph Haydn


Classical Music
Classical Era