Today is Joseph Haydn’s birthday.
Listening to his music, you can never tell what was in his soul. Such an impression – that everything was always perfect – there is so much optimism and humor in his music.
But his life was not sugar, if you just look at the facts: the
place of birth is extremely unfortunate – not in the family of a hereditary musician, but in the family of a coachman. But on the other hand, he had a good voice by nature – and little Haydn became a chorister in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. But when the voice began to break, Haydn was on the street. He is 16. No parenting connections or support; but he had unbending optimism and 13 years of half-starved existence.
Fate, apparently, realized that she could not break this man, and when Haydn was 29 years old, he got a good job – with Prince Esterhazy himself, the richest man in Austria. And a music lover, by the way.
To say that life has improved is not at all. There was a guaranteed lunch and dinner, but there was no freedom. For 30 years Haydn served as a serf composer in the prince’s house. He was loved – but a servant.
Only after Esterhazy’s death did Haydn begin a new life. He is 58 years old. He is free, famous. He can go wherever he wants, he can compose for whoever he wants and what he wants.
At the same time, even when he no longer needed anything and could simply rest, Haydn maintained a strict daily routine for the rest of his life. At half past seven I got up, at half past twelve I went to bed. Dined only with bread and wine. In the mornings he improvised and composed at the piano, in the afternoon he wrote down what he had composed. Therefore, it is not surprising that Haydn managed to write so much: 108 symphonies, 82 quartets, 52 sonatas, concerts, oratorios …
What can I say. Let’s be like Haydn. Not in the sense of wine for dinner every day – but in the sense of always keeping your spirits up. I must say that his music helps a lot.
Happy birthday, dear Joseph Haydn.