Music Composers

Franz Joseph Haydn-Part 8

April 1, 1732 to May 31, 1809

Lessons From Haydn's Life

by Henry T. Finck

His Last Days

The last of his great works, "The Creation" and "The Seasons", were received as they deserved to be, and Haydn was so wealthy in his last years that he was able to liberally repay the families of those who in his early struggles had helped him. He died on May 31, 1809 - the same year in which Mendelssohn and Chopin were born, as if to compensate for his loss.

There is one more lesson that obtrudes itself in surveying the life of Joseph Haydn. He wrote too much - 150 symphonies alone! - and that is the chief reason, paradoxical as it may seem, why we so seldom now see his name on a program. The best is smothered in the mass of the merely good or mediocre. Schopenhauer has well said that those would would write for posterity should exclude every superfluous line and weight every word to see if there is room for it in the trunk that is to make the long journey. But there is a remedy. We can winnow the chaff from the wheat - and there are bushels of wheat in the granary of Josef Haydn.

The Etude Magazine January 1907






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