Biography
Michael Haydn was the younger brother of Franz Joseph but was never completely overshadowed by his more famous and prolific senior. What can be said of Franz's symphonies in comparison to Michael's can be said of Michael's sacred music -- particularly the Latin texts -- in comparison to Franz. As a boy he sang at St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna and had an extensive range of three octaves. Between 1757 and 1763 Michael was the Kapellmeister for the Bishop of Grosswardein in Hungary (now Romania). From 1763 he was the court musician and Konzertmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg where he remained for the rest of his life. This is not to say that he did not visit Vienna or other musical centers to which he was invited. With The Mozart family, Michael established a lasting friendship and it is thought that Michael's "Requiem in C-mol" was well-known by Mozart and may have influenced the compositional process of his own Requiem Mass. In 1777, Haydn became the organist at Holy Trinity Church and later succeeded Mozart as the Cathedral organist. His reputation continued to progress and he was commissioned to write a number of works for the Empress Maria Theresa including vocal works which the Empress sang quite splendidly. Haydn's greatest influence may be felt in the merits of his student, Carl Maria von Weber and certainly the music of Schubert who venerated Michael. Haydn composed over 38 masses and 300 other church pieces. The choral works are most often written for four solo voices, four-part chorus and orchestra. He did compose some a cappella four-part male pieces and was among the first to do so in Germany. Occasionally he would score the orchestra of a particular piece with woodwinds, and even for woodwinds alone instead of the usual violins and violas. Some masses were strictly contrapunctus and his vocal solos were not as extravagant as other contemporary works. The instrumental works that Michael composed included about 40 symphonies characterized by their vitality, fugal finales, and movements that were comprised of minuets and concertos. Other genres of instrumental music by Haydn included string quartets, divertimentos, chamber music and duets for violin and viola. On the lighter side, like Mozart, he enjoyed an occasional frolicing canon. ~ Keith Johnson, Rovi



 
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Michael Haydn Symphony No.28 in C major Perger 19, SCO / Warchal
Michael Haydn - Requiem in C minor, MH 155 [Bolton, Mozarteum Orchester Saltzburg]
Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806) - Missa subtitulo St. Leopoldi in fest Innocentium (1805)
Michael Haydn – Missa tempore Quadrigesimae
Michael Haydn – Requiem in C minor (Missa pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismondo)
Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806) - Flute Concerto in D (c.1765)
Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806) - Cello Concerto B-Dur (c.1800)
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