Haydn Knew Where His Bread Was Buttered

Haydn knew where his livelihood came from. He pleased the royalty.

Haydn Knew Where His Bread Was Buttered.  Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. He created many musical forms in  chamber music such as the piano trio[2] . His contributions to musical form have earned him the epithets “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet“.[3] 

Now for the big question:  Musicians have had a difficult time making ends meet. How was he able to accomplish do so and quite well?  He composed for royalty. In addition he conducted the court orchestra for Austrian Prince Esterhazy. For most of creative musical output, Haydn was indeted to Esterhazy. Here’s what most do not know: He was treated as a servant. When he went to concerts in Esterhaz or Eisenstadt, he was required to dress in a lackey’s costume.  This is documented on page 12 in the book below. His humility saved him. He knew where his bread was buttered and “played ball.”

This wonderful source of stories includes Haydn.
This book is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!


Once in a while the rebel was aroused in him. This came across in his Farewell Symhony. It is entitled Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor.  Esterhazy had kept the orchestra working beyond their specified calendar date. Instead of making a direct appeal to adjourn for the season, Haydn put his request into the music of the symphony.  At his instructions, during the final adagio each musician artfully  stops playing.   He wrote it in such a manner that toward the end, the musicians would one-by-one stop, snuff out their candles, and walk off stage. At the movement’s conclusion there were just two muted violins left on stage. These were played by Haydn himself and his concertmaster. The Prince got the idea of what he needed to do.  He adjourned the orchestra. Conclusion, Follow Haydn’s example: Even in protest be gentle and polite. You’re more apt to get the results that you want, or atleast a compromise.

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