Music Composers

Josef Haydn-Part 1

Joseph Haydn seems to us now a figure of the remote past, so great have been the changes in the world of music since he lived. But his name will always be read in the golden book of classical music, and whatever the revolutionary processes of art may bring, the time will never come when his most important works will be forgotten. Compared with Mozart, however, we notice a strange dissimilarity. The popularity of Haydn has decreased while that of Mozart has considerable increased since their day. In fact, while Haydn in his lifetime became a dominating figure in the world of music and reaped a rich harvest of fame and earthly goods, only a few of the immense quantity of his works have preserved their vitality up to the present time. On the contrary, Mozart, who had to fight with squalid misery and was buried in the grave of the poor, has risen after his death to the most exalted height and his instrumental works as well as his operas have still in cur modern day a place of honor on the stage and on the concert platform. It will be interesting to investigate the reasons for this odd dispensation of fortune.

Haydn's life was a long, sane and, on the whole, fortunate existence. For many years he remained obscure, but if he had his time of trial he never experienced a time of real failure.

With practical wisdom he conquered the fates and became eminent. In the history of art his position is of the first importance. He was the originator of the string quartet and of the symphony and he established the basis of the modern orchestra. Without him Beethoven would have been impossible.

The Etude Magazine September 1920





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