Thursday, March 3, 2011

Franz Joseph Haydn: Childhood

Franz Joseph Haydn was a huge figure when it came to classical music. He contributed a whole lot to the development and composition of songs from this time period. Joseph was born in Rohrau, Austria, a little village close to the border of Hungary. His father was Mathias Haydn, the village mayor, and his mother was Maria nee Koller, who had worked as a cook in the home of a local count. Neither of his parents could read music, but Joseph's father was an accomplished folk musician. Joseph later reminiscences that his childhood family was extremely musical and sang together frequently.

Haydn's parents knew that their son was musically talented, so at the young age of six, they sent him off to be taught and trained by their relative, Johann Matthias Frankh. After that, Joseph never saw his parents again.

His childhood was not easy. Joseph remembered being hungry and embarrassed at the sight of his filthy clothing. But his musical training began, and he learned to play the harpsichord, the violin, and sang in the church choir. This boy's musical talent was soon brought to the attention of Georg von Reutter, the director of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. He saw the potential in young Haydn and brought him to Vienna to work as a chorister. Here his musical education continued, mostly from experience rather than instruction.

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