I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and my theme this year is classical music. Check out the list of other participants by clicking here! H is for Haydn. Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer who lived from 1732 to 1809. Today’s featured video is the 2nd movement of Haydn’s Symphony No. 94. Give it a listen and see if you can figure out why it is nicknamed the “Surprise Symphony.”
Video link: https://youtu.be/lLjwkamp3lI
|Haydn's portrait by Thomas Hardy|
· Franz Joseph Haydn’s parents could tell he had a gift in music, but their village was small and they knew he could not receive musical training there, so they sent him away at the age of 6 to work as an apprentice to a choirmaster named Johann Matthias Frankh. Haydn never lived with his parents again.
· He was friends with Mozart and a teacher to Beethoven.
· Haydn’s music contained many jokes and a lot of his pieces had nicknames, the “Surprise Symphony” is one example. He had a string quartet called “The Joke” with false endings. Some of the other nicknames included, “The Clock,” “Military,” “London,” and “Drumroll.”
· In his “Farewell Symphony,” he made a statement to his employer that the musicians needed some time off. In the final movement, each musician stood up, put out the candle on his music stand, and walked out until there were only two violinists left.
|Haydn's residence in Vienna, now a museum|
· During the performance of his Symphony No. 96, a huge chandelier fell from the ceiling. The symphony was nicknamed “The Miracle” because no one was injured!
· In the last year of Haydn’s life, Napoleon invaded Vienna. Haydn was so well-respected at the time that Napoleon stationed two guards outside his residence so that he would not have to move out.Yesterday’s trivia question: George Gershwin wrote the score for Shall We Dance, who were the stars of that 1937 film? Answer: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
For this challenge, I’m keeping a playlist of the videos I’m using plus some extras for anyone who wants to hear more. I will update with the latest letter each day. Today, my extra video is work from another great composer with a last name that begins with H, George Frideric Handel. I added Handel’s Harpsichord Suite in D Minor, the 4th movement (Sarabande).
True or False: After his death, Haydn's head was stolen from his grave.
If you had a symphony, what would you want it to be nicknamed?