1750 –1810 is what we call the classical period, and really any music not composed in this era is not classical music. Most of the well known classical composers come from this time such as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven who I have written about know. Here are some short biographies of their lives.
Franz Josef Haydn (1732 -1809)
In Haydn’s life he wrote 108 symphonies for 36 weeks starting when he was 27. Most, if not all of Haydn’s music was inspired such as his first string quartet in 1755. He was encouraged by Von Furnburg, a musical amateur. After his first quartet Haydn was intrigued and produced many more string quartets that delighted everyone including Von Furnberg with their openness and charm.
Shortly after Haydn divorced his wife he was familiar with Mozart. Haydn had recognised how great a composer Mozart was, far better than himself. So until the end of Mozart’s life, Haydn tried to make other people notice Mozart as well as himself. To return the favour Mozart affectionately dedicated six of his quartets to Haydn.
Haydn really enjoyed his music and he took most of the offers he was given like when he was given. So in 1791 he was able to visit London to direct some orchestral concerts. The next time Haydn visited London was in 1974 when he had six new symphonies.
As he aged lie moved slowly, leading to his death in 1809.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Mozart was a gifted child, and by the age of four he showed extraordinary musical powers and a year later he was composing music.
His first major opera was performed in Millan in 1770, when he was only fourteen.
In his short life he produced:
In 1781 Mozart earned an unsteady living as a freelance performer and a composer. Not many he people recognised how great Mozart was, only a few fellow-composers like Haydn. He wrote his first symphonies when he was eight and unfortunately died after 35 years of composing music in 1791.
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Beethoven was born in Germany in 1770, and after arriving in Vienna in 1792 he studied the composition and counterpoint of Haydn, Schenk, Salieri and Albrechtserger. He also tried to prove himself as a pianist and composer at the same time. He was successful and quickly won himself fame, first as an outstanding pianist then as a great composer.
Although he was a brilliant composer he was often accused of producing violent, obscure or eccentric music. But this did not worry Beethoven just gave him time to establish his individuality. But Beethoven was best known for his overtures, his 9th one was called “ode to the joy” which is the most popular. Although he was successful in music he wasn’t happy and showed so in his music until he died in 1827.
The Watts Book of Music
The complete works of Haydn
The complete works of Mozart
The complete works of Beethoven
Symphony-Musical composition written in form of Sonata but for full orchestra and usual comprising four movements.
Sonata- Musical composition for instruments (usually strings or piano) in several movements.
Concerto- Musical composition usually in sonata form with two or three movements, for a solo instrument accompanied by an orchestra.
Quintet- Musical composition for five instruments or voices.
Quartet- Musical composition for four instruments or voices.
Trio- Musical composition for three instruments or voices.
Opera-Dramatic performance of which music is an essential part.
Overture-Orchestral piece beginning opera, oratorio, etc.
Oratorio-Semi-dramatic musical composition usually on sacred theme performed by soloists, chorus and orchestra without action, scenery or costume.