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Joseph Haydn

"Since Haydn, a symphony is no longer a mere source of fun, but rather a matter of life or death," said Johannes Brahms paying homage to the musical accomplishments of Franz Joseph Haydn, who created trail-blazing works in almost every genre. Unjustifiably referred to, with a condescending smirk, as old-fashioned "Papa Haydn" by the emotion-demanding romantics, the composer used his exceptionally intellectual, brilliant mastery of form to create the actual musical language of the "Viennese Classic" era, which served as both basis and pattern for Mozart and Beethoven. In this context, Haydn not only ranks as the "inventor" of the classic four-movement symphony but also the string quartet and the piano sonata. His masses and oratorios, such as "Die Schöpfung" ("The Creation") and "Die Jahreszeiten"("The Seasons") were the point of departure for the vocal and oratorio enthusiasm of the 19th century. As of 1761, as court music director in the service of Prince Eszterházy, Haydn found a secure foundation for his compositional experimentation with new forms and a personal musical language. His two journeys to London, for which he wrote his famous 12 "London Symphonies", were real triumphal marches. Highly praised and honored by his contemporaries, Haydn died in 1809 in Vienna.