As I’ve been trying to update my Music section, I chose an artist that I had little knowledge of and decided to find out more about him while selecting the music that I loved that he created. I’m going to do a section on composers that I can use to educate my children. I hope that it will be helpful to you as well.
I started with Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), an Austrian composer who is considered the “Father of the Symphony” and the “Father of the String Quartet” because of his important contributions, and the sheer volume of music that he composed.
Haydn was famous in his day and died a rich man. He was friends with Mozart and a teacher of Beethoven.
Three ideas that struck me about his life were the following –
1. He stated that he was “forced to become original” because he was isolated from other composers and trends in music.
I love this because it is difficult not to compare yourself and your creations to “the latest” but if you allow yourself to create what you like, you will not only be original, but you will develop your own perfected style and ability.
2. As a young man, Haydn was poor and had been a servant, and later a busy entrepreneur, Haydn wrote his works quickly and in profusion, with frequent deadlines. As a rich man, Haydn now felt he had the privilege of taking his time and writing for posterity. Two of his symphonies – the Creation and the Seasons took over a year to compose.
It is fascinating to think about creating because you want to and creating because you must (to pay the bills, etc.) My father’s family is always creating – art, literature, family treasures, etc. They do it for the sheer love of making something, and because they’ve been working and practicing, they are able to sell their work. What a contrast between that and being afraid to create because you don’t want to “get it wrong”.
3. In his older years, he was affected by illness to a point that he was unable to compose any more. This was extremely difficult for him because “the flow of fresh musical ideas waiting to be worked out as compositions did not cease.”
This is a concept that I am all too familiar with. So often I have 15 book ideas running around in my head and no time to write. Aargh!
Another thing that it made me think about was how creative work breeds more creative ideas. The human brain is amazing – you start small and more and more ideas come until you have a storage of ideas – so many that it’s hard to know what to work on first. Becoming a being of creation rather than one of destruction is exponential. I wonder what other works Haydn has been writing in heaven. 🙂
Here is one my absolute all time favorite pieces of music that Haydn wrote – The Trumpet Concerto, enjoy!