Haydn At Esterhaza Essay

552 words - 3 pages

Haydn at EsterhazaIn the year 1760, Franz Joseph Haydn was thirty years old and at the beginning of his employment as Kapellmeister and composer to Prince Nicholas Esterhaza. Being employed at the estate, Haydn was expected to write pieces commissioned for various occasions and celebrations. He was also able to find time to compose pieces for musicians and other nobility at their request. Haydn's time at Esterhaza from 1760-1790 produced both operas and chamber music works.From 1776-1790, a regular season of opera occurred at Esterhaza. From 1780-1790, 1,038 operas were performed at the estate. Haydn's operas before and during this time were numerous. Two of his operas were based on the story of Pamela by Samuel Richardson ...view middle of the document...

.." which is imitative of a woman's voice and sung in a march-like style. The second (later) opera, La Vera Constanza (composed 1778) is also based on the Pamela story. While this opera has similar characters to "The Apothecary", it is a more sentimental story and is classified as an opera-semiseria.Haydn also composed several quartets and trios during his time at Esterhaza. His string quartet in G major (Op. 54, No. 1, Hob. III: 58) was composed in 1788 to be performed in a private setting. The final movement of the quartet is dominated by an almost silly theme played by the violins. The theme is repeated in different registers and moods throughout the movement and is supported by running 8th and 16th notes in the viola and cello parts. There are a few dramatic pauses but the flippant theme continues on right after them. The quartet was mainly intended to be performed for the enjoyment of the musicians or possibly a small audience of music connoisseurs who would be "in on the joke" of the quartet.Haydn's Baryton Trio (No. 113 in D major) was composed in 1773 for Prince Nicholas. The Prince played Baryton and between the years of 1765 and 1778, Haydn wrote many other pieces for him (trios, solos, cantatas, etc.). The trio was written to let the prince "shine" as a Baryton player without being too difficult.Haydn's piano trios written in the 1780s, towards the end of his time of employment at Esterhaza, included the C Minor Hob. XV: 13. These trios were composed to be published for and played by amateur musicians and music lovers. Haydn composed 6 trios which began a trend of the music being carried by the piano; a trend which continued into 19th century chamber music.

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