Great Masters Haydn His Life and Music
The music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) is so technically superb, so widely imitated, and so rich in quality and quantity that almost since the moment of its creation it has exemplified the Classical style.
More than any other single composer, it was Haydn who created the Classical-era symphony. And his 68 string quartets? They are the standard by which all other Classical string quartets were and are judged. No less an expert than Mozart wrote that it was from Haydn that he had learned how to write quartets.
And yet this gentle, creative dynamo, who penned more than 1,000 works over a 50-year career and remained musically vital well past middle age, is all too often thought of as an aged figure surpassed and overshadowed by Mozart and Beethoven.
By Professor Robert Greenberg
2002 | 6 hours and 6 mins | ISBN: 1565853768 | MP3 160 kbps (vbr) | 405 MB
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A Father, Not a Fossil
Not so, as Professor Robert Greenberg shows. The musicians who worked for Haydn called him “Papa” not because he was a fossil, but because of his unfailing kindness to them in an age when professional musicians were often treated poorly.
In truth, Haydn is one of the most original and influential composers of all time. He was the only musical contemporary whom Mozart admired. You learn from Professor Greenberg about the artistically fruitful friendship that grew between Mozart and Haydn.
He taught Beethoven. You can learn about the more troubled dealings Haydn had with Beethoven—whose Ninth Symphony, nonetheless, would be unimaginable without the influence of Haydn’s Creation, the towering 1798 oratorio in praise of God’s generosity, that crowned Haydn’s career.
The Beauty of The Creation
In the culminating lectures of the series, you’ll learn how The Creation perfectly expresses Haydn’s rich inner world and personality: His childlike wonder, purehearted sensual joy, and genial humor mix seamlessly with profound faith, great nobility of expression, and genuine religious devotion.
In Haydn’s works, the demands of popular entertainment and lofty aesthetic theory blend smoothly. Each piece strikes a new and finely judged balance between limpid accessibility and the integrity of compositional craft.
To know the man behind such works is to see Haydn’s extraordinary achievement not merely as a technical feat or a display of pure talent—though surely these are involved—but as the work of a whole person, a triumph of generosity and the human spirit.
Works you’ll hear in the lectures are excerpted from:
Symphony no. 45 in F-sharp Minor (Farewell) (1772)
String Quartet in C Major, op. 33, no. 3 (The Bird) (1781)
String Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 33, no. 2 (The Joke) (1781)
Symphony no. 92 in G Major (1789)
Symphony no. 94 in G Major (Surprise) (1792)
Symphony no. 102 in B-flat Major (London) (1794)
Symphony no. 104 in D Major (final London symphony) (1795)
Piano Trio in F-sharp Minor (1794)
Trumpet Concerto (1796)
String Quartet, op. 76, no. 3 in C Major (The Emperor) (1797)
Course Lecture Titles
1. Introduction and Early Life
2. The Lean Years and the Pre-Classical Style
3. Haydn’s Marriage and Esterháza
4. Esterháza Continued
5. The Classical String Quartet and the Classical Symphony
7. Beethoven, London Again, and Breakthrough
8. The Creation, The Seasons, and the End
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