Sunday, November 24, 2019

Michael Haydn - Requiem

Image von der Wik
You wonder if musical families are like everybody's family - probably they are.  And so we have to wonder if Franz Joseph Haydn sometimes thought his younger brother Michael was a twerp.  Maybe.

But older brother Franz was making a name for himself in Vienna and Michael was able to get some temporary gigs - substituting when the regular organist was unavailable, that sort of thing.  Not bad for 12 years old.

The Haydns and the Mozarts were friends, and Wolfgang wrote a part for Michael's wife in one of his operas.

Despite my snarky (whimsical?) opening, Franz held his brother Michael in high regard - perhaps because he respected Michael's focus on religious music.  Most famous of these is his requiem mass that he wrote on the death of Saltsburg Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach in 1771.  Both Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart were at the premier and the younger Mozart admitted that Haydn's requiem influenced his own (more famous one).

But the requiem mass is a solemn occasion - the missa pro defunctis (mass for the dead) is performed for the repose of the soul of someone recently departed.  A friend of mine just passed far too young.  May his soul rest easy.


libertyman said...

Amazing piece of music, and a very interesting performance on what appears to be period instruments.

LSP said...

I love Haydn's requiem.

Stewart Dean said...

If you don't know of it, you might take in this concerto which I first heard some 55 years ago (when I was playing French Horn poorly in high school band) attributed to Michael Haydn. Lately it appears attributed to FJ. It's a concerto for two French horns sublimely interwoven