It happen today…

On March 31st 1732 in the little austrian village of Rohrau, was born the composer and pianist Franz Joseph Haydn, often considered the “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” because of his important contributions to these forms.
He spent great part of his life in his homeland, where, despite the economic difficulties of his family, he had the opportunity of developing his musical knowledges, strengthening his style.
His music is linked to the sonata form, focusing on the search of expressive and dramatic solutions, creating one of the most important musical structure of the nineteenth century.
In the late 1760s and early 1770s Haydn’s works were deeply influenced by the German cultural movement called Sturm und Drag (“Storm and Stress”). Works during this period often feature a newly impassioned or agitated element; however, Haydn never mentions this movement as a motivation for his new compositional style, and there remains an overarching adherence to classical form and motivic unity. Though Haydn may not have been consciously affirming the anti-rational ideals of Sturm und Drang, one can certainly perceive the influence of contemporary trends in musical theatre on his instrumental works during this period.
In 1779, an important change in Haydn’s contract permitted him to publish his compositions without prior authorization from his employer. This may have encouraged him to rekindle his career as a composer of “pure” music.
Thanks to his journeys in Great Britain, Haydn developed a “popular style”, characterized by a frequent use of folk music: a way of composition that, with unprecedented success, created music having great popular appeal but retaining a learned and rigorous musical structure.
Despite Haydn was considered “Father of the String Quartet”, during his career he wrote 62 Sonatas for piano, which have not reached the popularity that may deserve, though many consider that level strictly comparable with Beethoven and Mozart’s Sonatas.
You can appreciate two Haydn’s Sonatas for piano, performed by Takahiro Yoshikawa on Limenmusic Web Tv. This popular and talented pianist gives to the audience his personal interpretation of Sonata in F major Hob.XVI: 23 and Sonata in G minor Hob. XVI: 44 (for the concert, please click here).


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