Joseph Haydn does not need an introduction, he was born today, 180 years ago. You will find lots about him at Wikipedia and other sites.
If you want to listen to the most perfect – in the sense of following all rules – classical music, besides Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, Joseph Haydn is your man.
His nicknames have been ‘father of the symphony’ and ‘father of the ‘string quartet’. That should say it all.
He also was a gentleman, with a great sense of humor and he was very caring towards his musicians.
This is brilliantly shown by the following anecdote.
While employed by the wealthy aristocrats Esterhazy, Haydn and the orchestra musicians had to travel with their employer from palace to palace for the seasons.
That meant, the musicians were away from their families, sometimes for weeks.
One of those trips lasted even longer than usual.
And the musicians became annoyed and grumpy and rebellious.
Haydn noticed the changing atmosphere and sought a solution. Approaching the count bluntly was out of the question.
Haydn instead used the adagio of his symphony “Farewell“. In this piece, towards the end, selective instruments and groups one by one stop playing.
The next evening, the orchestra performed the Haydn composition.
And as ordered by Haydn, every musician at the appropriate time not only stopped playing.
They also, one after the other, silently packed their instrument, put out their candle, and left.
Until eventually, all music had ended and all musicians were gone.
The count understood the message.
He smiled and ordered everyone to pack on the next day for immediate return home.
What a lovely man Haydn must have been.