Haydn is (probably) born on 31 March in Rohrau an der Leitha in Lower Austria and baptised on 1 April (as officially evidenced in documents) as Franz Joseph (later on, he almost never uses his first name). He is the second of twelve children; only three of his sisters and two of his brothers survive childhood. His father Mathias Haydn works as a master cartwright and from 1741 as a market reeve in a small town of barely 50 households near the Austrian-Hungarian border; his mother Anna Maria Haydn, née Koller, worked before her marriage as a kitchen clerk in the service of Count Karl Anton von Harrach at his castle in Rohrau.
Haydn grows up in a rural area in an environment characterised by artisan and peasant traditions. He receives his first musical influences in his family. While working as an itinerant craftsman, his father has learned to play the harp, which he now uses to accompany his family’s singing.
Probably on 14 September, Johann Michael Haydn is born, who will also become a famous composer.
At the age of five or six, Joseph goes to a relative in Hainburg for his education. This is the school principal Johann Mathias Franck, who is also a choir master and sacristan and who gives Haydn music lessons.
Haydn sings for the Vienna Domkapellmeister Georg Reutter the Younger during his visit to Hainburg. Reutter accepts him as a new choirboy in the cathedral choir. Haydn arrives in Vienna in the summer of 1740 at the latest and lives for eight years with five other choirboys in St Stephen’s Kapellhaus ensemble in Vienna. He receives a solid school and musical education and makes his first attempts at composing. Whether his earliest mass (F major, Hob. XXII:1) dates back to the Kapellhaus period is disputed.
The younger brother Michael also becomes a choirboy at St Stephen’s.
After his voice breaks, Haydn is released from the ensemble. As a subtenant of the tenor Johann Michael Spangler, who works at St Michael’s Church, he moves into an attic in the Großes Michaelerhaus (living quarters). The imperial court poet Pietro Metastasio and the widowed Princess Maria Octavia Esterházy, mother of Haydn’s future employers, Prince Paul Anton and Nikolaus Esterházy, live in the same house.
With the assistance of Metastasio, Haydn becomes the piano and singing teacher of Marianna von Martines, who is around ten years old and also lives in the Michaelerhaus. In return, Haydn is given free boarding with the family. He also earns his living by teaching other students (teaching, especially composition, will remain an important and almost continuous activity of Haydn into his old age).
Probably also through Metastasio, Haydn meets the Italian composer Nicola Porpora, who employs him as a valet and piano accompanist for his voice students and through whom Haydn, according to his own statements, learns “the real foundations of the art of composition”.
This is the period when various divertimenti and string trios, including a five-part cassation (possibly Hob. II:2), are probably created. The Viennese comedian Joseph Felix von Kurz (known as Bernardon) commissions Haydn to write the music for his work Der krumme Teufel.
On 23 February 1754, Haydn’s mother Anna Maria dies in Rohrau. In this and the following two years, Haydn is a singer at church services in the court chapel during Lent and Holy Week, and also plays as a violinist at several court balls; the composition of his earliest dances is perhaps connected with this. On Sundays and holidays, he is apparently busy as a violinist in the Church of the Brothers Hospitallers and organist in the Chapel of Count Friedrich Wilhelm Haugwitz, as well as a singer in St Stephen’s Cathedral.
Haydn’s father Mathias remarries. The marriage to Maria Anna Seeder results in five children, none of whom survive childhood. Joseph Haydn falls in love with one of his students, Therese Keller, who, however, joins the Vienna Order of Saint Clare in 1755 as a novice.
On the occasion of Therese Keller’s taking vows on 12 May, Haydn composes – according to his own (contradictory) statements – either the concerto for organ and violin (Hob. XVIII:6) or the organ concerto in C major (Hob. XVIII:1; piano and organ concerts). In the same year, he writes his Salve Regina in E major (Hob. XXIIIb:1). In the mid-1750s, Karl Joseph Weber Edler von Fürnberg invites Haydn for two months to his Weinzierl Castle near Wieselburg in Lower Austria, where Haydn composes his first string quartets.
Probably in this year, Haydn becomes musical director of Count Morzin, who spends the winter in Vienna and the summer in Bohemia at his Lukavec Castle (Dolní Lukavice) near Pilsen. Haydn composes his first symphonies in the service of the Count. Haydn’s early string trios, quartets, cassations, symphonies and piano sonatas are spread rapidly through transcripts.
On 26 November, Haydn marries Maria Anna Aloisia Apollonia Keller, an older sister of Theresa, in Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral. The marriage remains childless; according to Haydn’s statements, it is not a happy one.
On 1 May, after Count Morzin is forced to dissolve his ensemble due to financial difficulties, Haydn becomes Vizekapellmeister for Prince Paul Anton Esterházy, thus entering the service of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in the Danube Monarchy. The prince resides in Eisenstadt but also owns a palace in Vienna. Haydn is employed with an annual salary of initially 400 guilders, boarding expenses and payment in kind, summer and winter uniform, and an allowance of 200 guilders as a Vizekapellmeister with the rank of house officer. According to his title, he reports to the Oberkapellmeister Gregor Joseph Werner. However, Werner is only de facto director of church music, while Haydn has sole responsibility for chamber and theatre music. His tasks include the musical training of the employed singers, the supervision of sheet music and instruments and, above all, the composition of new works. He is not allowed to pass these on to third parties or to produce compositions for other clients without the prince’s express consent. Over the next few decades, Haydn composes – in line with the needs of the court – a variety of musical genres, primarily chamber music and symphonies, and later on church music and stage works. With the 1761 Times of Day symphonies (Hob. I:6-8) and various concerts between 1761 and 1765, Haydn takes account of the virtuoso abilities of the orchestra members.
Prince Paul Anton Esterházy dies on 18 March in Vienna; his younger brother Nikolaus Esterházy succeeds him and officially moves to Eisenstadt on 17 May. On 5 July, he confirms the contracts concluded with Haydn and other musicians. The prince, who has a good knowledge of music and plays the violin and baryton, expands the orchestra to 25 musicians over the years (up to 1780).
On 10 January, Prince Nikolaus’s eldest son, Count Anton, marries Countess Maria Theresia Erdődy in Vienna. On this occasion, Haydn composes the Festa teatrale Acide, his first Italian opera. The (lost) cantata “Vivan gl’illustri sposi” (Hob. XXIVa:1) is also composed on the occasion of the wedding celebrations. In the summer of the same year, Haydn writes the music for the Commedia La marchesa Nespola. For the prince’s name day, he composes the cantata “Destatevi o miei fidi” (Hob. XXIVa:2). From this year on, the Leipzig publisher Johann Gottlob Breitkopf regularly offers copies of Haydn’s instrumental works in its catalogues.
Haydn’s father dies on 12 September in Rohrau.
Prince Nikolaus travels to Frankfurt am Main in spring as the Bohemian ambassador for the election and coronation of Joseph II as King of the Romans. His splendid appearance impresses the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who in 1811, in the first part of his autobiography Dichtung und Wahrheit, coins the bon mot of “Esterházy fairy kingdom”. On the occasion of the return of the prince, Haydn composes the cantata “Da qual gioia improvvisa” (Hob. XXIVa:3). The court musicians apparently spend the months of July to September and from the end of October until just before Christmas in the Esterházy Castle Kittsee near Pressburg. Haydn travels to Rohrau, where he looks after his father’s estate. Prints of Haydn’s instrumental works appear in Paris, from 1765 in Amsterdam, from 1771 in Berlin, and from 1772 at the latest in London. They are based on copies and are not authorised by Haydn.
In October, Kapellmeister Werner complains to Prince Nikolaus that Haydn has brought disorder – both in terms of the storage of the instruments and sheet music and also the discipline of the musicians. As a consequence, on 3 November, Haydn receives the prince’s reprimand (“Regulatio Chori KissMartoniensis”) from his superior estate administrator Peter Ludwig Rahier, in which he is also advised to compose more for the baryton, the prince’s favourite instrument. Over the next ten years, Haydn writes 126 trios for the baryton, viola and violoncello, among others. Presumably as a reaction to the reprimand, Haydn creates a draft catalogue. The youngest brother, Johann Evangelist Haydn, who had initially taken up his father’s profession, comes to Eisenstadt in 1765 at the latest after working as a tenor at St Stephen’s in Vienna. Here, he becomes a tenor in church music – initially without payment but later with a small salary.
Gregor Joseph Werner dies on 3 March. Haydn is promoted to Kapellmeister and takes on the direction of church music. In terms of sacral music, he composes his Advent arias as well as the Kyrie and Gloria of the Missa Cellensis in honorem B.V.M. (“St Cecilia Mass”), which is later extended (around 1773?). On 2 May, he buys a house in Eisenstadt.
The intermezzo La canterina is premiered – probably on the name day of Princess Maria Anna Esterházy, the widow of Prince Paul Anton – on 26 July. The main building of the castle in Eszterháza (Fertőd) is completed in 1766. Prince Nikolaus has the former hunting lodge of Süttőr converted into a splendid complex, which earns the palace the title of “petit Versailles de l’Hongrie” in a contemporary travelogue. It is constantly expanded until 1784. In addition to a picture gallery and a Chinese ballroom, an opera house and a puppet theatre are also built. Instead of Eisenstadt, the court now resides in Eszterháza for longer and longer parts of the year. From 1769, Haydn lives in the musician’s house within the palace district from spring to autumn – as one of the few musicians together with his wife; the families of most of the other musicians have to stay in Eisenstadt by order of the prince. In the winter months, the court stays in Eisenstadt or Vienna. In October 1766, the article Von dem Wienerischen Taste in der Musik (On Viennese Taste in Music) appears anonymously in the Vienna Diarium, in which Haydn is defended against accusations by North German conservative critics. Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, who has been friends with Haydn since the 1750s, is usually regarded as the author.
Haydn composes his Stabat Mater, which brings him European fame. He sends it to Johann Adolf Hasse, who, according to Haydn’s own testimony, expresses his appreciation. One year after its first performance in the church chapel in Eisenstadt, it is probably also performed in the Church of the Brothers Hospitallers in Vienna. In the years that follow, further church music pieces are created: his “Great Organ Solo Mass”, “St Nicholas Mass” and “Little Organ Mass”.
The Applausus that Haydn composed for a fee of 100 guilders to celebrate the anniversary of the abbot taking his vows is premiered in Zwettl Abbey on 17 April. Since Haydn cannot be present, he gives the musicians detailed instructions in an accompanying letter on how his music is in general to be performed. In a major fire at Eisenstadt on the night of 2 to 3 August, Haydn’s house burns down. The fire probably destroys some works that were listed in the draft catalogue but are now lost, including Italian musical comedies and piano sonatas. Prince Nikolaus pays for the reconstruction of the house. In autumn, the opera house in Eszterháza is opened, probably with the world premiere of Lo speziale: dramma giocoso based on a libretto by Carlo Goldoni.
Haydn travels to Pressburg for five days in the spring to hire new singers. The six string quartets op. 9 are probably composed this year.
On the occasion of the wedding of Countess Maria Theresia Lamberg, a niece of the prince, and Count Alois Poggi (Pocci), the first verifiable performance of Le pescatrici takes place in Eszterháza on 16 September, another dramma giocoso based on a libretto by Goldoni. This is the first time that Italian singers appear alongside German ones in an opera by Haydn.
Haydn falls seriously ill with a ‘fever’ (Griesinger, p. 27). The illness is apparently so serious that Michael Haydn, concert master at the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg since 1763, is given leave to visit his brother. To express his gratitude for his recovery, Haydn may have composed his Salve Regina in G minor (Hob. XXIIIb:2). On Good Friday, he leads a large-scale performance of the Stabat Mater in the Church of Maria Treu of the Piarist monastery in Vienna. The six string quartets Op. 17 are composed.
The theatrical troupe of the famous Carl Wahr makes regular guest appearances in Eszterháza this and over the following four years. The literature that their repertoire is based on is more demanding than that of other travelling theatres and includes Lessing’s Emilia Galotti and Miss Sara Sampson, Goethe’s Clavigo, as well as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear. After studying with Johann Baptist Vanhal, Ignaz Pleyel becomes a composition student of Joseph Haydn, with whom he also lives. Count Ladislaus Erdődy, who pays for Pleyel’s training and stay, gives Haydn two horses and a carriage in appreciation. Composition of the six string quartets Op. 20 (the “Sun” quartets) takes place. With the “Farewell” Symphony Hob. I:45, Haydn – according to an anecdote told by himself – prompts the prince to end their extended stay in Eszterháza and thus the separation of the musicians from their families.
Haydn’s L’infedeltà delusa (burletta) is premiered in Eszterháza on 26 July, the name day of the widowed Princess Maria Anna von Esterházy, and is repeated on 1 September for the visit of Empress Maria Theresa; on 2 September, the puppet opera Philemon and Baucis is premiered on the same occasion, marking the opening of the puppet theatre in Eszterháza. Over the next few years, Haydn composes further, now lost, pieces for the puppet play created by Karl Pauersbach. As the successor of the organist Franz Novotni, who dies on 25 August, Haydn takes over the organist service of the church chappel in Eisenstadt during the winter months; in the summer months, the castle schoolmaster Joseph Dietzl performs this task.
In Vienna, Kurzböck publishes the six piano sonatas Hob. XVI:21-26, the first (and until 1780 the only) authorised edition of a work by Haydn. It is dedicated to Prince Nikolaus Esterházy.
On 2 and 4 April, Haydn conducts the first performances of his oratorio Il ritorno di Tobia in Vienna’s Kärntnertortheater, which he composes for the Wiener Tonkünstler-Societät. He brings the soloists from Eszterháza at the expense of Prince Nikolaus. In the presence of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Maria Ricciarda Beatrice d’Este, L’incontro improvviso is premiered in Eszterháza on 29 August.
The prince becomes more and more interested in opera. Seven new singers are hired, and regular opera productions are started. Two to three times a week, mainly Italian comic operas are performed (on other days, plays by visiting theatre troupes). Haydn, as Opernkapellmeister, is responsible for setting up and rehearsing the works; apparently, he also often provides the stage music for plays. However, only one of his stage music pieces from this period is known, the one for Jean-François Regnard’s comedy Le Distrait, handed down as symphony Hob. I:60 (“Il distratto”). On 17 July, Eisenstadt is again destroyed by a major fire. Haydn’s house is also damaged, and Prince Nikolaus once more pays for the reconstruction.
Haydn composes twelve minuets for the Viennese carnival balls in Hofburg’s Redoutensäle. In July, at the request of Empress Maria Theresa, the Esterházy Kapelle travels to Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace to perform, among other works, two puppet operas, Haydn’s missing Hexenschabbas, and Carlo d’Ordonez’s Alceste. On the occasion of the wedding of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy’s second son, Count Nikolaus, to Maria Anna Franziska Countess Ungnad von Weißenwolff, a niece of the Princess, Haydn’s Il mondo della luna: dramma giocoso is premiered in Eszterháza in the summer.
the course of the year, Haydn tries to become a member of the Wiener Tonkünstler-Societät. After they try to oblige him to compose various works, he withdraws the request on 4 February 1779.
On 1 January, Haydn receives a new service contract, which no longer contains the stipulation that he may not accept other commissions without the prince’s approval. Over the next few years, Haydn is in contact with publishers in Vienna, Paris and London in order to bring his music to market. In March, the violinist Antonio Polzelli and his wife Luigia are hired for the Hofkapelle. The soprano, who – apart from Silvia in the opera L'isola disabitata – only sings second and third roles, becomes Haydn’s lover. He composes several arias for her, later also supports her financially and offers her the prospect of marriage after the death of his wife. Haydn may be the father of Luigia’s second son Anton Polzelli. In spring, La vera costanza: dramma giocoso is premiered in Eszterháza. The opera house in Eszterháza is completely destroyed by fire on 18 November, an event that is also reported in publications outside the region. Performance material from several operas is destroyed, including the score and parts of La vera costanza, which means that Haydn has to reconstruct or recompose the work for its revival in 1785. After the fire, the opera ensemble plays on the enlarged stage of the puppet theatre; Haydn's Azione teatrale: L'isola disabitata has its premiere there on 6 December, the prince’s name day. By 18 December, the foundation stone for the new opera house has already been laid.
Six piano sonatas (Hob. XVI:20, 35-39) are published by Artaria in Vienna with a dedication to the Auenbrugger sisters. Some of the sonatas are older, but some are composed especially for this edition. This marks the beginning of a series of first editions at Artaria, which becomes one of Haydn’s main publishers. Despite the complex reconstruction of the opera house, more than 90 performances take place. The opera business in Eszterháza continues to flourish in the following years too. The season now usually lasts from February to late November or early December. In addition to Haydn, the two other people in charge are Pietro Travaglia as set designer and Nunziato Porta, responsible for the librettos and overseeing the costumes. The repertoire includes works by Pasquale Anfossi, Giuseppe Gazzaniga, Giuseppe Sarti, Giovanni Paisiello, Domenico Cimarosa and others. Haydn writes three new operas in the 1780s: La fedeltà premiata, Orlando Paladino and Armida. They are more widely distributed outside of Eszterháza than his earlier works, but often translated into German and with spoken dialogues instead of the secco recitatives.
The Philharmonic Academy of Modena appoints Haydn, who has long been famous in Italy, as a member.
The new opera house is opened on 25 February with the premiere of La fedeltà premiata: dramma giocoso. Due to the extended opera season, the prince decides on 9 April that the church music ensemble in the church chapel in Eisenstadt will henceforth be supported also in winter by the Thurnermeister (the tower watchman employed by the town) and his journeymen, who have been carrying out this function in the summer since 1775. In the first half of the year, Haydn sends a dedicated score of L’isola disabitata to the Prince of Asturias, later King Charles IV of Spain, and receives a golden tobacco box with diamonds as a token of gratitude. Haydn gives two lessons to the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, née Princess Sophie Dorothea von Württemberg, during her visit to Vienna. According to Griesinger, these are “about one of his compositions.” The wife of the future Tsar Paul I organises a large private concert on 26 December, at which one of the newly composed string quartets Op. 33 is probably played by Luigi Tomasini, Franz Asplmayr, Joseph Weigl and Thaddäus Huber. In the same year, the quartets, as well as the first series of twelve German songs, are published by Artaria. Before going to press, Haydn himself distributes copies of the quartets; he advertises them with several identical letters, in which he describes them as written “in a completely new, special way”. In the years that follow, Haydn establishes more and more relationships abroad. An authorised edition of the symphony Hob. I:74 is published by William Forster in London; thanks to the extremely successful performance of the symphony Hob. I:53 (L’Impériale) in the London Bach-Abel concerts, other concert entrepreneurs pursue Haydn over the next few years. Willoughby Bertie, Earl of Abingdon, for example, tries to win Haydn over for twelve concerts as part of his “Hanover Square Grand Concerts”. His brother-in-law, the impresario Giovanni Andrea Battista Gallini, enters into negotiations with Haydn in 1783 regarding the composition of an opera. Despite his numerous business contacts, Haydn feels increasingly isolated in Eszterháza and expresses this feeling for the first time on 27 May 1781 in a letter to Artaria in which he describes his “stay in the country” as his “misfortune”.
Haydn composes the Mariazellermesse for the Viennese military officer Anton Liebe von Kreutzner. The first performance of Orlando paladino takes place in Eszterháza on the name day of the prince. Artaria receives from Haydn the overtures to five of his operas and to Il ritorno di Tobia, which appear in print as six symphonies. From then on, Haydn’s symphonies are mostly published in groups of three or six, such as the three works Hob. I:76-78 composed in 1782. These are the first symphonies of this period that Haydn conceives for a public outside the Esterházy court. He initially has them distributed in copies and then offers them to Torricella in Vienna, Forster in London and Boyer in Paris at the same time. They then appear in print in 1784 and 1785.
On 20 October, Haydn signs a contract through an agent with the Countess-Duchess of Benavente-Osuna for the delivery of works to Spain. These are not new but already finished works, possibly with the exception of a few small (unidentifiable, possibly lost) string quartets that Haydn mentions in a letter to Artaria dated 5 April 1784.
Haydn’s final opera for Eszterháza is premiered on 26 February: Armida. Presumably in the first half of the year, Haydn compiles a list of all the works played at Eszterháza up to that point, comprising 73 operas and five puppet operas, including his own. In March, he finishes a second series of twelve German songs, for which the choice of texts is advised by the Viennese Councillor Franz Sales von Greiner, father of the writer Caroline Pichler. At the end of March, Haydn conducts a performance of his oratorio Il ritorno di Tobia in the Vienna Hofburgtheater; for this performance, he adds two choirs. Haydn’s wife Anna probably moves to Vienna this year, to the house of Johann Nepomuk Hamberger, a friend of Haydn, at the Wasserkunstbastei. Haydn, who hires a housekeeper (Magdalena Behn) around 1782, remains in the musicians’ house in Eszterháza but probably lives with his wife during his stays in Vienna during the winter months. Heinrich Philipp Carl Boßler publishes three piano sonatas (Hob. XVI:40-42) in Speyer with a dedication to Maria Josepha Hermenegild Esterházy, née Princess Liechtenstein, possibly as a belated gift for her wedding the year before to Prince Nikolaus (who later becomes Prince Nikolaus II), grandson of the ruling prince. In order to be able to send the publisher Forster three piano trios in London, despite a lack of time, Haydn submits – alongside one of his own (Hob. XV:5) – two trios by Pleyel (Hob. XV:3 and 4) under his own name.
A German adaptation of La fedeltà premiata called Die belohnte Treue is performed at the Kärntnertortheater in Vienna on 18 December.
The London Gazetteer & New Daily Advertiser complains in January that Haydn, “who is the Shakespeare of music”, has to survive at the court of a wretched prince who does not know how to appreciate him – and ironically appeals that he should be saved from this fate and “the clamorous temper of a scolding wife” (quoted from Landon 2, p. 597) and brought to England. On 15 January, Haydn receives a visit from Wolfgang Amadé Mozart in Vienna and hears his six new string quartets, the so-called “Haydn Quartets” (KV 387, 421, 428, 458, 464 and 465), which appear in print in September with Mozart’s famous dedication to Haydn. On 11 February, Haydn is accepted into the Viennese Freemason’s lodge “Zur wahren Eintracht” (“True Concord”), which at that time has around 200 members. In Paris, the success of his symphonies leads to a commission from the Société Olympique (a concert company affiliated with the Masonic lodge of the same name) for six new works, which Haydn fulfils in 1785-1786 with the composition of the Paris symphonies Hob. I:82-87.
With symphonies Hob. I:82, 84 and 86, Haydn completes the series of the Paris symphonies. He begins working on the instrumental music of the Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross, commissioned by a canon from Cadiz. At Artaria’s request, Haydn composes the three piano trios Hob. XV:6-8. The Leipzig publisher Christoph Gottlob Breitkopf also turns to Haydn during his visit to Vienna in December with a request for new pieces. In 1789, he receives a sonata in C major (Hob. XVI:48) as the opening piece for a “Musical Pot-Pourri”.
Haydn composes the symphonies Hob. I:88 and 89 and assigns them to Johann Tost, former violinist in Eszterháza, who sells them to publishers. One or two years later, Haydn also gives him the string quartets Op. 54/55 and 64 (known as the first and second Tost Quartets). Haydn sells the Seven Last Words to Artaria, which publishes them both in the original version and in a string quartet version (by Haydn himself) and in a piano reduction (checked by Haydn). On 28 March, Haydn sends a copy of the Paris symphonies to King Frederick William II of Prussia. As a mark of appreciation, he receives a diamond ring and reciprocates with the dedication of the String Quartets Op. 50 (therefore known as the Prussian Quartets), which are published by Artaria in December. A trip to Naples planned for the winter of 1787-88 is cancelled for unknown reasons. Haydn has wanted to accept an invitation from King Ferdinand IV, for whom he has been composing works for the lira organizzata since 1786. Johann Elßler (1769-1843), a son of Esterházy sheet music copyist Joseph Elßler, becomes Haydn’s personal valet and copyist in this or one of the following years. Numerous copies of works have come down to us written in his hand.
At the beginning of the year, Haydn sends three of the Paris symphonies to the Professional Concert, a concert organiser in London, as contractually agreed. However, these have already been published there by Longman & Broderip – through Artaria’s mediation, but without the composer’s knowledge. On 28 February, Haydn writes a statement in his defence published by London newspapers. In 1788-89 Haydn composes the symphonies Hob. I:90-92 for Count d’Ogny but also sells them to Prince Kraft Ernst of Oettingen-Wallerstein, who has also commissioned three symphonies.
This year, Haydn’s correspondence with Maria Anna von Gennzinger (wife of Esterházy's personal physician Peter Leopold Edler von Gennzinger) begins, which is a revealing source regarding Haydn’s personality. Over the next two years, Haydn is a regular guest of the family and dedicates the piano sonata in E flat major Hob. XVI:49 to the lady of the house. Mozart invites Haydn to a rehearsal of his new opera Così fan tutte in his apartment in Vienna on 31 December.
Prince Nikolaus I dies on 28 September in Vienna. His son and successor, Prince Anton Esterházy, immediately dissolves the Hofkapelle. Haydn is kept on (alongside concert master Luigi Tomasini) but no longer has any obligations. He moves to Vienna to live with his wife and refuses a position as Kapellmeisterwith Prince Anton Grassalkovics in Pressburg, and also declines Ferdinand IV’s renewed invitation to go to Naples. Instead, he accepts an extremely lucrative offer from Johann Peter Salomon: for a fee of 5,000 guilders, he undertakes to compose and perform new works for a series of concerts in Hanover Square Rooms in London and a new opera for the impresario Sir John Gallini in London’s King’s Theatre. After a farewell dinner with Mozart, Haydn leaves for Britain on 15 December with Salomon. He stops in Munich, where he meets Christian Cannabich at Prince Oettingen-Wallerstein’s palace in Swabia, and also in Bonn, where he attends a performance of one of his masses in the palace chapel and is introduced to the musicians of the court orchestra by Prince Elector Maximilian Franz. The young Ludwig van Beethoven is also in this orchestra. Haydn and Salomon reach England on New Year’s Day 1791 via Brussels, Calais and Dover.
On 2 January, Haydn arrives in London where, after an overnight stay at the publisher John Bland’s, he moves into the house of an Italian cook who prepares his meals every day. Charles Burney writes verses on the arrival of the great musician Haydn, and numerous newspapers report on his arrival. He receives so many visits and invitations that he soon retires to what was then rural Lisson Grove near Paddington. On 18 January, he attends the Queen’s birthday ball in St James’s Palace. He meets George Augustus Frederick, Prince of Wales (later King George IV), and gives 26 concerts in his residence at Carlton House until April. However, due to the high level of indebtedness of the prince, he must claim his fee of 975 guilders (£100) from a commission of the British Parliament. Between 11 March and 3 June, Salomon organises twelve concerts on Fridays at 20:00 in the concert hall of Hanover Square Rooms, which is designed for around 600 listeners, and also a benefit concert for Haydn on 16 May, which brings Haydn the equivalent of around 3,400 guilders (£350) – significantly more than the amount previously guaranteed by Salomon (£200). For this first concert season, Haydn composes two of his twelve London symphonies (Hob. I:96 and 95). In addition to Haydn’s music, the concerts offer a varied programme with the best London virtuosos performing as soloists. The audience is enthusiastic; some movements of Haydn’s symphonies often have to be repeated. By the end of the first concert season, Haydn has made a considerable profit despite his great expenses. He asks his employer, Prince Esterházy, to extend his vacation by one year, which the prince declines to do on 21 August. Nevertheless, Haydn remains in London, as he and Salomon have already announced a second concert season five days earlier in the Morning Chronicle. For the King’s Theatre, he composes the Dramma per musica L’anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice. Rehearsals begin in May, although the opera is not completely finished yet. However, there is no performance because Gallini does not receive the necessary licence – but still, he makes sure that concerts and ballets can be performed in the King’s Theatre twice a week, which Haydn takes part in. He also attends a series of concerts and opera performances, such as the Concert of Ancient Music on Tottenham Court Road or the Wilhelm Cramer Professional Concerts in Hanover Square Rooms. He is enthusiastic about the large-scale performances of Georg Friedrich Handel’s oratorios on the occasion of a Handel festival in Westminster Abbey. At Burney’s instigation, Haydn is awarded an honorary doctorate from Oxford University on 8 July. As part of the festivities, he conducts a symphony at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, apparently Hob. I:92, which is later given the nickname “Oxford”. In August and September, Haydn spends five weeks in the country house of the banker Nathaniel Brassey in Hertfordshire. He composes works for the following concert season and teaches the daughter of his host. One of Haydn’s London students is Rebecca Schroeter, widow of the musician Johann Samuel Schroeter. A romantic relationship develops between the two; Haydn copies her love letters in his own hand into one of the notebooks he keeps in London. At the end of the year, the Prince of Wales commissions John Hoppner to paint a portrait of Joseph Haydn. Haydn also has to appear as a witness in the court case between the London publishers Forster and Longman & Broderip over the rights to his works. Ignaz Pleyel is hired as a competitor for the Professional Concert, which competes with Salomon’s concerts. Haydn is initially concerned, especially since the London newspapers try to pit the two composers against each other. However, Pleyel renews his friendship with his former teacher at several meetings. At the end of the year, Haydn receives news of Mozart’s death, which shocks him greatly.
Pleyel opens the first Professional Concert show of the year with a symphony by Haydn, while Haydn starts the first concert in the Salomon series with a symphony by his pupil. However, Haydn also accepts the friendly competition. In response to a concertante symphony by Pleyel, he composes his Sinfonia concertante Hob. I:105. The twelve Salomon concerts in Haydn’s second season take place from 17 February until 18 May. In addition to older works still unknown in London, such as the piano trio Hob. XV:14 (with the participation of the then 13-year-old Johann Nepomuk Hummel) or the symphony Hob. I:91, Haydn performs numerous new works, such as The Storm and the symphonies Hob. I:93, 98, 94 (“Surprise”) and 97. For the publisher William Napier, Haydn writes an accompaniment for basso continuo and violin for 100 Scottish melodies, and for the Prince of Wales the march Hob. VIII:3. Haydn takes part in the concerts of the violinist François-Hippolyte Barthélemon (28 May) and the pianist Johann Wilhelm Hässler (30 May), accompanies the singer Gertrud Elisabeth Mara in a benefit concert on the piano (1 June), and goes on trips to Vauxhall Gardens, Windsor, the horse racing at Ascot (14 June), and Slough (15 June), where he visits the William Herschel telescope. The famous surgeon John Hunter (husband of the poet Anne Hunter, whose texts Haydn sets to music) tries unsuccessfully to persuade Haydn to have nasal polyp surgery. However, on 10 April Haydn announces his return and resumption of service to Prince Anton Esterházy. As a Bohemian ambassador, the prince takes part in the election (5 July) and coronation (14 July) of Francis II as Holy Roman Emperor in Frankfurt. He demands that his Kapellmeisterarrive on time. It is uncertain whether Haydn complies with his request: Prince Anton arrives in Frankfurt on 25 June, but Haydn probably only leaves London after 2 July. In any case, Prince Anton is still disgruntled long after Haydn’s arrival in Vienna on 24 July. On the return journey, Haydn makes another stop in Bonn, where he discusses plans for an edition of his symphonies with Nikolaus Simrock, a publisher and member of the Hofkapelle. Beethoven comes to Vienna in November as Haydn’s pupil, which was probably agreed in Bonn. It is unclear what tasks Haydn performs as Esterházy Kapellmeister in the next few months. Apparently, he does not travel to Eisenstadt but moves again to his wife’s apartment in Vienna. In October, he takes Pietro Polzelli, the eldest son of his former lover, into his household as a student. As far as new compositions are concerned, apparently only twelve minuets and German dances are produced in the second half of the year (Hob. IX:11 and 12). These are performed in the Redoutensäle of the Vienna Hofburg at a Pension Society of Visual Artists ball.
Haydn spends most of the year in Vienna; he composes the Variations F minor for piano (Hob. XVII:6), the symphony Hob. I:99, as well as individual movements from Hob. I:100 and 101 (each with a view to his next trip to London). The string quartets op. 71/74 (“Apponyi Quartets”) are commissioned by Count Anton Apponyient. In March, a new large choral piece by Haydn is performed at Palais Dietrichstein in Vienna together with Handel’s Alexanderfest, apparently Der Sturm, the German version of The Storm. On 12 March, Haydn gives a concert at Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz’s and on 15 March conducts three of his London symphonies in the small Redoutensaal. He stays in Eisenstadt from May to the end of July at the latest, and again at the beginning of September. Before leaving for England, he conducts the Christmas concerts of the Wiener Tonkünstler-Societät in the old Hofburgtheater on 22 and 23 December – again The Storm and three of the London symphonies.
On 19 January, Haydn sets out on his second trip to England, accompanied by Johann Elßler. During a stopover in Passau (or in 1795 on the return journey?), he hears an arrangement of his Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross with singing voices by Joseph Friberth. He arrives in London on 4 February and moves into a flat at No. 1 Bury Street, St James, very close to Rebecca Schroeter. On 22 January, Prince Anton Esterházy dies; he is succeeded by his son Nikolaus II Esterházy, who lets Haydn know that he wants to have the Hofkapelle re-established under his direction. The Salomon Concerts season lasts from 10 February until 12 May, and Haydn premieres the symphonies Hob. I:99, 101 (“The Clock”) and 100 (“Military”). On 2 and 28 May, Haydn and Salomon give their respective benefit concerts. Haydn also takes part in concerts by other artists, for example on 21 March with the Abrams siblings, on 19 May with the pianist and soprano Maria Hester Parke, on 26 May with the violinist Barthélemon, and finally on 2 June with the bass Ludwig Fischer. On 16 May, Haydn is best man at the wedding of the pianist Therese Jansen (for whom Haydn writes the piano sonatas Hob. XVI:50 and 52 and the piano trios Hob. XV:27-29 in 1794/1795) and Gaetano Bartolozzi. From 9 to 16 July, Haydn travels to Hampton Court, Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Newport, Southampton, Winchester and Farnham. In August, he goes to Bath with the flautist Andrew Ashe and the singing teacher and composer Giambattista Cimador. Here, he spends a few days in the summer house of the castrato Venanzio Rauzzini; for Rauzzini (and in memory of his dog), he writes the canon “Turk was a faithful dog, and not a man” (Hob. XXVIIb:45). In Bath, Haydn meets Doctor Henry Harrington, to whose panegyric “What art expresses” he reacts with the composition Dr Harrington’s Compliment Hob. XXVIb:3. On 6 August, Haydn visits Bristol, and on 26 August he visits the ruins of Waverley Abbey in Surrey at the invitation of Sir Charles Rich. With Lord Abingdon, he visits Sir Willoughby Aston at his house in Preston, Hertfordshire; for each of them, he composes a trio for two flutes and violoncello (Hob. IV:2 and 1).
On 1 February, Haydn gives a concert at the house of Frederick Augustus, Duke of York. He is introduced to King George III by the Prince of Wales. Two days later, the royal couple are again among Haydn’s listeners at a concert at Carlton House. Due to the political situation in Europe, Salomon can no longer engage major vocal soloists from the continent and gives up his concert series. On 2 January, Giovanni Battista Viotti starts a new series in the concert hall of the King’s Theatre under the title “Opera Concerts”, with singers from the London Italian opera. The orchestra, with Wilhelm Cramer as concert master, consists of 60 musicians; the instrumental soloists include Viotti, Salomon and the contrabassist Domenico Dragonetti. In this series, Haydn premieres his last three London symphonies (Hob. I:102-104). For his last charity concert in London on 4 May, which earns him 4,000 guilders, he composes Scena di Berenice (Hob. XXIVa:10) for the soprano Brigida Giorgi Banti. Haydn takes part in other concerts: at the New Musical Fund (20 April), with Wilhelm Cramer (1 May), the soprano Sophia Corri (married to Dussek) (29 May), the violinist John Hindmarsh (3 June) and the flutist Ashe (8 June). As a member of the audience, he attends a concert by the soprano Gertrud Elisabeth Mara, operas by Francesco Bianchi and Martin y Soler, and a performance of Solomon’s opera Windsor Castleon the occasion of the wedding of the Prince of Wales. Haydn composes the piano trios Hob. XV:21-23, which are published by the London publisher Thomas Preston, with a dedication to Princess Maria Josepha Hermenegild Esterházy, and Hob. XV:24-26, which are published by Longman & Broderip, with a dedication to Rebecca Schroeter. Two series of six English canzonettas, each based, among other sources, on poems by Anne Hunter, are created as well as another 50 folk song arrangements for Napier. The royal couple invite Haydn to stay in England forever, but he refuses and sets forth on his journey home on 15 August. It takes him via Hamburg (where he visits the daughter of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach) and Dresden. In Vienna, Haydn moves into a flat in the house of the fruit trader and purveyor to the court, Pichler, at the Neuer Markt. In September, he resumes his active service for the Esterházy dynasty. On 18 December, Haydn appears together with Beethoven in the small Redoutensaal in Vienna: Haydn conducts three of the London symphonies, and Beethoven performs his own piano concerto (probably the one in B flat major, Op. 19).
Beethoven and Haydn play together again on 8 January in the small Redoutensaal, this time at a benefit concert by the alto singer Maria Bolla. On 26 and 27 March, the first performances of the vocal version of the Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze, which Haydn has created based on the arrangement by Friberth, take place in the palace of Prince Joseph Johann Nepomuk Schwarzenberg at the Neuer Markt in Vienna. The concerts are financed by the Gesellschaft der Associierten Cavaliere, a group of aristocratic Viennese music lovers. Gottfried van Swieten, who also edits the text of the oratorio, acts as its managing director. Haydn’s (almost only) task for the Esterházy court is the annual composition of a mass to be performed in Eisenstadt (to where the court has in the meantime moved back) at The Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Mariä Namen), at the time still a movable feast, which was celebrated on the Sunday after the birth of the Virgin Mary (8 September, the name day of Princess Maria Hermenegild). The feast was created in 1683 on the occasion of the liberation of Vienna from the Turkish siege, and gained a new political meaning in the era of the Napoleonic Wars. In the years to come, Haydn spends a few months in summer and autumn respectively in Eisenstadt. In 1796, in addition to the “Holy Mass” intended for Eisenstadt, the Missa in tempore belli, the “Paukenmesse”, is created. It is allegedly commissioned for the primacy of the religious priest Joseph Hoffmann by his parents and is first performed on 26 December at the Vienna Piarist Church of Maria Treu. Haydn writes a trumpet concerto in E flat major for the keyed trumpet invented by Anton Weidinger. His polyphonic chants are evidently created entirely without commission.
Haydn moves with his wife to the Viennese suburb of Windmühle, the parish of Gumpendorf. Four years earlier, at the suggestion of his wife, he has acquired the house at number 71 Kleine Steingasse and has it extensively renovated. From this year onwards, he apparently lives in the Eisenstadt Palace during the summer and autumn months, as Prince Nikolaus II has it fitted with various pieces of furniture from an Esterházy palace in August. The Lower Austrian District President Franz Joseph Graf von Saurau commissions Lorenz Leopold Haschka to write a patriotic counterpart to the English hymn “God Save the King” and Joseph Haydn to set it to music. “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser” (God Save Emperor Francis), described by Haydn himself as a “folk song”, is heard for the first time on the birthday of the Emperor (12 February) in his presence in the Hofburgtheater. In the same year, Haydn uses the melody as a variation theme in the third of the six string quartets op. 76 (“Erdődy-Quartets”) composed for Count Joseph Erdődy. This “Kaiserquartett” is heard on 28 September at a concert during the visit of the Hungarian palatine in Eisenstadt Castle. Haydn composes The Creation based on a libretto that he has brought from England, edited by van Swieten. For Eisenstadt, he does not write a new mass but performs the Missa in tempore belli of 1796 on 29 September.
Am 1. und 2.4. veranstaltet die Tonkünstler-Societät im alten Hofburgtheater in Wien die ersten öffentlichen Aufführungen der Vokalfassung der Sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze. Haydn stellt die Schöpfung fertig und dirigiert die Uraufführung am 30.4. im Palais Schwarzenberg vor geladenen Gästen; sie wird ein sensationeller Erfolg. Bis zur ersten öffentlichen Aufführung vergeht noch fast ein Jahr. Für Eisenstadt komponiert Haydn die Missa in angustiis, die »Nelsonmesse«. 1798/1799 wird er zum Mitglied der königlich schwedischen Akademie der Musik ernannt.
On 1 and 2 April, the Tonkünstler-Societät organises the first public performances of the vocal version of The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross at the old Hofburgtheater in Vienna. Haydn completes The Creation and conducts the world premiere on 30 April in the Palais Schwarzenberg for invited guests; it becomes a sensation. Almost a year will pass before its first public performance. Haydn composes the Missa in angustiis, the Nelson Mass, for Eisenstadt. In 1798/1799, he is appointed a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
On 19 March, the first public performance of The Creation, with 200 participants, takes place in the Hofburgtheater; on 22 and 23 December, Haydn conducts the work there again for the Tonkünstler-Societät. The great success leads van Swieten and Haydn to another project: The Seasons. On 25 May 1799, Georg August Griesinger calls upon Haydn for the first time as middleman for the Leipzig publisher Breitkopf & Härtel. On the basis of regular meetings over several years, he will publish biographical notes on Joseph Haydn in 1810. The “Theresienmesse” is created as a new mass for Eisenstadt and is premiered there, probably on 8 September. Of a series of string quartets intended for Prince Lobkowitz, Haydn can only complete two works (Op. 77; “Lobkowitz Quartets”). In November 1799, George Thomson contacts Haydn and asks him to arrange some Scottish folk songs. By 1804, Haydn has delivered over 200 songs, although some of them are written by his pupil Sigismund Neukomm (due to an excessive workload or his increasing age).
Haydn self-publishes The Creation in Vienna. It will soon be performed in many European cities. On 8 March, Haydn conducts the oratorio in the royal palace in Ofen (Buda); this is his only major trip in recent years. On 20 March, Maria Anna Haydn dies during a cure at Baden near Vienna. Haydn’s health is deteriorating, which he attributes to the strenuous work on The Seasons. Even after he has recovered from a “rheumatic head fever”, his condition remains unstable. There is no new fair this year. On the occasion of Lord Horatio Nelson’s three-day visit to Eisenstadt (6 to 9 September), the Missa in angustiis, the “Nelson Mass”, probably composed two years earlier, is performed. The admiral is accompanied by his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, her husband, the British envoy Sir William Hamilton, and Ellis Cornelia Knight. She has written a Pindarian ode (“The Battle of the Nile”) on Nelson’s victory at Abukir, of which Haydn sets a few stanzas to music. During a hunting trip of Archduke Joseph and Archduchess Alexandra Pavlovna in Eszterháza, Haydn leads a concert on 31 October, and conducts two further concerts on 11 and 12 December in the Eisenstadt castle on the occasion of a visit by the imperial family. On 24 December, the first performance of The Creation in Paris takes place in the grand opera house. The 1,400 spectators include Napoleon Bonaparte, who barely escapes an attack with explosives on the way to the opera house.
The musicians involved in the performance later send Haydn a large gold medal of honour with his portrait.
On 16 January, Haydn conducts The Creation in a performance for the benefit of the Austrian soldiers wounded at the Battle of Hohenlinden (3 December 1800). The large amounts of money raised by performances of the oratorios often go to charity and worthy institutions. On 24 April, Haydn conducts the world premiere of The Seasons in the Palais Schwarzenberg, and further performances follow on 27 April and 1 May. On 24 May, he performs the work at the imperial court, with the Empress (Maria Theresa ) singing the soprano part. The Seasons is heard for the first time in public at a benefit concert for the composer on 29 May in the great Redoutensaal; Haydn conducts large-scale performances with over 200 participants on 22 and 23 December in the Hofburgtheater. On 5 May, he writes his first will, which he later corrects in many places. On 13 September, he performs the “Creation Mass” in Eisenstadt. He is appointed an honorary member of the Amsterdam Maatschappij Felix Meritis and elected by the plenary assembly of the Institut National de France as an external member in the Fine Arts class.
In January, Haydn begins composing his last mass, the Harmoniemesse, which is first performed on 8 September in the Eisenstadt Bergkirche church. After the premiere, the princely couple hosts an opulent dinner in the Eisenstadt castle with Haydn as their guest. Because of his poor health, he must cancel a planned concert tour in Germany and Paris, although the Paris Concert des Amateurs company has already paid him the expenses for the trip. The publisher William Whyte also asks Haydn to arrange more Scottish songs. Haydn provides him with 65 songs, some of which are by Neukomm. The original edition of The Seasons is published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, which also publishes a number of Haydn’s vocal works during this period, and a complete edition of his piano music.
Due to increasing age, Haydn composes only a little. Of his last string quartet (originally intended as a further work of Op. 77), he can only complete the 2nd and 3rd movements. He has to drop plans for another oratorio, especially after Gottfried van Swieten’s death on 29 March. In August, he travels to Eisenstadt again to welcome Prince Nicholas II after his month-long stay in Paris. On 26 December, he appears for the last time as a conductor at a performance of The Seven Last Words in the Redoutensaal in Vienna. The city of Vienna awards Haydn a twelve-fold golden citizen’s medal (the “Salvator Medal”).
Haydn officially retains his position as Kapellmeister of Prince Esterházy, but in fact Johann Nepomuk Fuchs and the newly appointed concert master Johann Nepomuk Hummel lead the orchestra. On 30 September, Hummel conducts the first performance of The Creation in Eisenstadt instead of Haydn. Haydn spends his retirement in the company of his grand-niece Ernestine Loder (actually Luegmayer), his valet Johann Elßler and other staff in Vienna. Here, he receives many visitors. He becomes an honorary citizen of the city of Vienna. At the end of the year, rumours of Haydn’s death spread. A performance of the opera Armida takes place in his memory in Turin on 27 December.
London’s Gentleman’s Magazine publishes an obituary for Haydn in January; Luigi Cherubini writes a funeral cantata Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn in Paris; Rodolphe Kreutzer composes a violin concerto on themes by Haydn for a memorial concert. George Thomson also finds out about it. Haydn sends him an autograph of the song “The Blue Bell of Scotland” (Hob. XXXIa:176) to show that he is still alive. On 15 April, the painter Albert Christoph Dies visits Haydn for the first time. On several further visits he collects material for a biography, which he publishes in 1810 as Biographische Nachrichten von Joseph Haydn. On 10 May, Haydn’s youngest brother Johann Evangelist dies in Eisenstadt. Haydn arranges his musical legacy. He has Elßler compile a directory of his works (Haydn-Verzeichnis) and his musical library.
Haydn has a visiting card printed on which he quotes a polyphonic chant, “Der Greis” based on a poem by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim: “Hin ist alle meine Kraft, alt und schwach bin ich” (All my strength is gone, I am old and weak). The visiting card is printed by Breitkopf & Härtel upon the publication of the unfinished string quartet Op. 103, which had been started three years earlier. On 8 October, Haydn’s brother Johann Michael dies in Salzburg. Although Haydn can no longer perform his duties as the Esterházy conductor, Prince Nikolaus II increases his income in November by 600 guilders to 2,300 per year; from 1808, the court also pays considerable costs for Haydn’s medication and visits to the doctor.
Haydn is appointed a member of the Paris Société académique des enfants d’Apollon and receives a gold medal of honour.
On 27 March, a few days before Haydn’s 76th birthday, Antonio Salieri conducts an Italian-language performance of The Creation in the auditorium of the University of Vienna in honour of the composer, who is carried into the concert hall to the cheers of the crowd. Princess Esterházy commissions the painter Balthasar Wigand to record the event – it is Haydn’s last public appearance – in a miniature, which she gives to Haydn as a present mounted on a precious box.
On 7 February, Haydn signs his final will. He makes his only surviving nephew Mathias Fröhlich his universal heir. In addition to relatives, he also takes into consideration his household staff and numerous other people, including Prince Esterházy, his former lover Luigia Polzelli and orphans from his native Rohrau. On 13 May, Vienna is taken by French troops; Haydn’s health deteriorates rapidly at this time. During the siege, he repeatedly plays the imperial hymn on the piano. On 31 May, Joseph Haydn dies “early in the morning at twenty to one” (letter from Elßler to Griesinger, Pohl 3, p. 387), according to the official record of “exhaustion”. Elßler takes his death mask. Haydn is buried on 1 June in the Hundsturmer Friedhof cemetery; the next day the Requiem, for which a musical version by Michael Haydn has been selected, is held in the Parish Church of St Giles in Gumpendorf. Two weeks after the funeral, a “memorial festival” is held with a large turnout in the Schottenkirche in Vienna, at which Mozart’s Requiem is performed. Joseph Carl Rosenbaum, former secretary of Prince Esterházy, has Haydn’s head removed from the grave for examinations based on Franz Joseph Gall’s skull theory. It is not until 1954 that the skull is reunited with the rest of Haydn’s remains.
Haydn’s house, his books and other items are auctioned on 27 February. Together with his cash assets, the value of the estate is estimated at more than 60,000 guilders, which means Haydn was one of the wealthiest citizens of Vienna.