Composer's World S.
Part of a series of picture books for readers aged twelve and upwards illustrating the lives and times of the world's greatest composers. This book looks at the life and work of Haydn, a life that spanned a period of great political and social, as well as musical change: born when both Bach and Handel were at the height of their fame, he outlived his friend Mozart by 18 years, having seen his greatest pupil Beethoven well-established in his own career. But neither Mozart nor Beethoven could have created their masterpieces - symphonies, string quartets, sonatas - without the example of Haydn. This illustrated biography brings the world of the 18th century vividly to life, and includes extracts from some of Haydn's best-loved works in simple keyboard arrangements.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
One more handsome volume in the "Composer's World" series (see above), with the same format, rather distanced style, excellent period illustrations, and musical excerpts. Haydn's longer, more orderly life - most of his work was originally done for his wealthy employers, the Esterhazy family (their vast establishment rivaled Versailles), and he actually received a generous pension - makes a fine backdrop for the lives of his Viennese contemporaries; Thompson enlivens it with details like the youthful Haydn's irrepressibility (the Empress Maria Theresa once had him whipped for climbing on a scaffold after she'd warned him not to) and his later triumphs in England. Many of the interesting illustrations are credited only to "Author's collection"; it would be nice to know more: Are they from old books? From Haydn's lifetime, or later? Glossary; list of works. (Kirkus Reviews)