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Franz Joseph Haydn biography

A brief biogrpaphy of Franz Joseph Haydn, who is remembered in history as the Father of the Symphony and an adventurer into almost every element of music.

Franz Joseph Haydn is best remembered for his symphonic music, honored by music historians who have dubbed him the "Father of the Symphony." That is a well-known fact. But did you know that Haydn worked his way from peasant to Kapellmeister where he lived in the house of a prince? Did you know that although Austria was his home, he traveled to London to write his most famous symphonies? Did you know that Haydn`s oratorio "The Creation" grew out of his love of nature, as he was an avid hunter and fisherman? Or did you know that Haydn was mentor to a young music student by the name of Mozart?

These are the lesser-known facts, the parts of Haydn`s life that allow us to peek inside a great man`s legacy to see what made him tick. Haydn was indeed a self-made man. Born in the small village of Rohrau, Austria on March 31, 1732, Franz Joseph Haydn was the second of twelve children. His father was a wagon maker by trade, but quite musical. On Sundays, the Haydn family often gave private concerts. Haydn`s father played the harp while Haydn and his mother sang. A cousin who was a schoolmaster recognized the five-year-old boy`s talent and offered to take him into his school so that he could receive musical instruction. The food portions for the children were meager and Haydn himself said that "there was more flogging than food." Still, Haydn persevered, determined even as a young boy to maximize the opportunity and learn all that he could.

At the age of eight, Franz Joseph Haydn became a choirboy for the Viennese Cathedral. Again, the food was far less than what a growing youth needed and the choir children`s treatment in general was harsh. Haydn stayed, learning all that he could about church music, until puberty changed the timbre of his voice and he was cast into the streets of Vienna with nothing more than a change of clothes. At the age of seventeen, Haydn found lodging and work. He gave music lessons and played in the serenades to earn money. An open door presented itself in the form of an Italian composer named Niccolo Porpora who hired Haydn as his accompanist. Haydn`s status was that of a servant, but Porpora did adequately feed him - something he had not enjoyed at the school or the Cathedral - and taught him Italian, voice, and composition. Again, a positive-minded Haydn saw it as an opportunity.

With practice and performance, Haydn`s musical prowess and fame grew with time. He was offered the position of Music Director for Count Morzin. From there, Haydn accepted employment with the Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy where he became the Vice-Kapellmeister and later Kapellmeister. His duties were intense, ranging from the administrative responsibilities associated with monitoring the needs of the musicians under him to himself composing music for orchestral, operatic, and chamber music performances. His response to the challenge was as it had always been - Haydn exhibited not only the stamina for that which was required of him, but the brilliance of creation that made his music famous. While in the employ of the Prince, Haydn composed eleven operas, sixty symphonies, five masses, thirty sonatas, one concerto, and hundreds of shorter pieces.

Haydn`s positive attitude and sense of humor made him a favorite among musicians. Music students valued his knowledge and skill and considered it an honor to learn from him. One such musician was Mozart. Although Mozart was much younger than Haydn, the two men treated each other with a mutual respect reserved for the obviously gifted. Although Haydn openly opined Mozart as the more dramatic composer, his young counterpart looked to Papa Haydn as a mentor and the master of quartets.

Haydn`s sense of humor often came into play during his thirty-year tenure with Prince Esterhazy. The prince had become complacent when listening to Haydn`s symphonies, even falling asleep at the performances. This was something that seared the feelings of the diligent composer, especially when the prince emitted a loud snore during a part of the symphony over which Haydn had especially labored. Haydn decided to create a new symphony for the prince, a symphony that he hoped would "get Prince Esterhazy`s attention." This particular symphony was written with a long slow movement, designed to be so soothing that the prince would surely fall asleep. On the evening of the performance, the prince did indeed drift off. Then, suddenly, a loud chord shattered the serenity of the murmuring movement. The prince awoke with a start and almost fell off his chair! Haydn adeptly gave the piece the name "Surprise Symphony."

On another occasion, Haydn was plagued by his musicians who were complaining that they were long overdue for vacations. He again faced the dilemma with ingenuity. Haydn composed a symphony during which the musicians` parts dropped off two by two. On the evening of the performance, Haydn saved this symphony as the last number, knowing that dusk would set in and the musicians would need to play the piece by candlelight. As each instrument`s part finished, the musicians blew out their candles and left the stage until only Haydn was left. Prince Esterhazy got the message and sent everyone on vacation. Haydn named the piece "The Farewell Symphony."

When the prince for whom Haydn had served most of his career died, Haydn saw it as yet another opportunity. He packed his bags and traveled to London where he was employed by the entrepreneur J.P Salomon to compose symphonies. The demand for new music was incredible. Even at the age of sixty, Haydn`s stamina was unquenchable and he produced perhaps his greatest work. Of these are the famous "London Symphonies."

After a return to Austria, Haydn turned to a new type of composition - the oratorio. He wrote "The Creation" and "The Seasons," both tributes to his love of nature and God. An enthusiastic hunter and fisherman and a man who considered his peace to come from God, it was not out of character for Haydn to turn to the topic, although the venture into a different music medium at such a late stage of his life might be considered unusual. Still, that was Haydn - never one to promote the usual.

Haydn died at the age of 77 on May 31, 1809. Elssler, Haydn`s faithful servant, friend, and the chronicler of his works, wrote that Haydn passed from this world "quietly and peacefully," just as he had lived.

Haydn - a self-made man, remembered for his contribution to the symphony. But anecdotal studies of his life show he was also a man of optimism with an uncanny sense of humor. He was a mentor to other musicians and an untiring adventurer into almost every element of music.

Written by Elaine Schneider -

A nightlife guide for nashville

Here`s a guide to Nashville`s tons of music options in its nightlife scene.

Throughout the year, Nashville, Tennessee, plays host to a variety of activities, including professional and college sporting events, art exhibitions, fine dining and a host of others. However, life in Nashville revolves first and foremost around music, no matter what time of the year. Nashville is affectionately known as Music City after all. And yes, the majority of that music has a country western flare, although blues, jazz, gospel and a host of other types can be found across the city as well. So if you love music, especially of the country variety, you won t find a better selection of nightlife choices in America than the options located in Nashville.

When you think of Nashville, you automatically think of country music. Nashville offers visitors an array of activities during the daytime hours, but when the sun goes down the music scene dominates Nashville s nightlife. Of course, the music scene for out of town folk usually varies a bit from the local hot spots. Out-of-towners are sure to need some direction and this article is here to help.

If you are visiting Nashville for the first time and are interested in exploring the more touristy bars in the city, the downtown area should act as your compass point. After touring the Country Music Hall of Fame during the day, trek a couple of blocks to Broadway. The four or so block stretch of Broadway is a country music lovers paradise. Legendary bars such as Tootsie s, Legends, Robert s and The Bluegrass Inn line one side of the road and showcase some of the best live music in the city. If you get hungry, venture into Jack s Barbeque located smack dab in the middle of the aforementioned bars. You ll get to experience two of Nashville s finest, country music and barbeque, at one time. If you don t have a lot of time to spend in the city, it s perfectly acceptable to bar hop from one place to the other all in the same night. It doesn t matter which bars you visit on Broadway because they are essentially all the same: all are crowded and all are country.

Less than a five-minute walk down Broadway is Second Avenue, another of Nashville s famous music streets. The most renowned landmark on this stretch of road is The Wildhorse Saloon. This massive dancehall with its open space and its beautiful hardwood floor make The Wildhorse a popular spot for linedancing, live music, and numerous other big events. Definitely include this in your to do list. Buffalo Billiards is right down the way from The Wildhorse and is probably considered more a local favorite than a tourist one. But if you re close by, you may as well stop in here as well. Take a little break from the music and dancing and shoot some pool or throw some darts. Buffalo offers a nice change of pace, although the atmosphere can be every bit as loud and rowdy as the country music joints.

If you want live music but don t want to fight the crowds and the smoke, Nashville provides some distinct options for visitors and locals alike. The historic Grand Ole Opry runs every Friday through Sunday and features country and bluegrass hottest stars. Visiting the Opry at least once should probably serve as your top priority. You simply cannot miss it. Cruising down the Cumberland River aboard the General Jackson Showboat might be a cool option to try as well. Live music, shows and dinner are all available, and cruises run year round. You generally won t get to listen to any famous singers, but you will definitely be entertained.

Now you know where the tourists congregate while in Nashville, but what about where the locals hang? Demonbreun Street would have to be the most consistent answer when asking the natives where they roam. A rundown, nearly abandoned street just a couple of years ago, Demonbreun (located about two minutes from Broadway, if that far) has fast become Nashville s trendiest area. Bars like Two Doors Down and Dan McGuinness are great for eating, drinking, smoking, and the like. Tin Roof plays host to some of the hottest live music in town. During the summer, Tin Roof converts its connecting parking lot into an outdoor venue and attracts some of country s hottest stars like Gary Allen and Phil Vassar. A handful of other fun hangouts line the street. No matter what night of the week, Demonbreun is always hopping.

Some other popular spots a little more off the beaten path are country bars like Mercy Lounge. You never know what celebrity might pop in here to jump on stage for a couple of songs. Third and Lindsley and Exit Inn are two other music venues that stay crowded, although these offer a variety of music genres. The Flying Saucer is another neat, unique location in Nashville. Serving over 200 different beers, The Flying Saucer s selection rivals anyone in the world. This bar includes plush sofas and billiards as well, although it s not quite as noisy as some of the previously mentioned places.

Nashville, Tennessee, truly is one of the best towns in the country to visit. The people are friendly, the weather usually cooperates, and there is plenty to do during daytime and evening hours. While tours and historic sites abound during the day, when nighttime hits, it s all about the music. Whether you like big crowds or a more relaxed atmosphere, Nashville is home to more country music bars than you will find anywhere in the country. If you want more nightlife choices than you know what to do with, go to New York. If you want the best country music in America, however, Nashville is the place to be.

Written by Michelle Manson -

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