Haydn Wohnhaus - Where an Era Ended March 09 2023
On a recent trip to Vienna, we stepped into the world of one of the greatest classical composers of all time at the Haydn Wohnhaus Museum. Housed in the very building where Joseph Haydn lived and worked for much of his life, this museum offers a unique opportunity to learn about the composer's life, see where he composed some of his most famous works, and experience his music in the place where it was created.
From exhibitions of Haydn's manuscripts and documents to visual displays of his music, the Haydn Wohnhaus museum, also known as Haydnhaus, is an essential stop for anyone interested in classical music or the history of Vienna.
THE FATHER OF THE SYMPHONY
Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, in 1732 and spent most of his career working in Vienna. He was a prolific composer and is considered one of the founders of the classical style of music. Haydn is known for his contributions to the development of the sonata, string quartet, and piano trio.
As a boy, he sang in the choir at St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna and later studied with many well-known musicians in the city. Then, in the 1750s, Haydn began working as a freelance musician, composing and performing for various patrons in and around Vienna. He began to work as a music director for several noble families in the city, including the Esterházy family, for whom he composed many of his most famous works. The support of this distinguished family helped launch his career to the next level.
In 1797, when he was in his 60s, Haydn moved into the building in the baroque town of Eisenstadt that is now the Haydn Wohnhaus museum. Haydn had already achieved astounding fame and success across Europe. However, some of the most important works in his legacy were crafted in this home, such as "The Creation" and "The Seasons." He lived there until his death in 1809 at the age of 77.
HAYDNHAUS CELEBRATES ITS NAMESAKE
Haydn originally bought the home on a trip back from England and carried out some renovations before moving in. Now, the house is a museum dedicated to the composer's life and work. It has been carefully restored to reflect the appearance of the building during Haydn's time and offers a unique opportunity to learn about the composer's life and see where he composed some of his most famous works.
In 2009, to honor the 200th anniversary of his death, the Haydnhaus exhibition was completely redesigned to emphasize his final political and social influence on his final years spent in the home. This redesign also consisted of dividing the rooms as they were in his time and recasting the garden to match historical models and represent where Haydn would have spent much of his time.
When you first step into Haydn's world, you're greeted with a collection of notes and memoirs from those who have visited the house over the years. These written moments let the museum curator paint a picture of Haydn's glowing reputation and heavy influence. To really set the scene, there are also images of his friends, guests, and the cities of London and Vienna in the stairway leading up to the home.
As visitors find themselves on the first floor, they enter Haydn's flat. In his bedroom, some of the most important artifacts are on display. The room is decorated with period furniture and includes a replica of the composer's death mask, copies of compositions that hung on his walls, medals he had received throughout the years, and his last visiting card.
While the museum is mostly dedicated to Haydn's life, the museum also includes exhibits of the composer's work. There are displays of Haydn's manuscripts and other documents, as well as information about the various pieces that he composed.
AN ODE TO HAYDN
Overall, the Haydn Wohnhaus Museum is a significant cultural and historical attraction in Vienna. The home has been operating as a museum since 1899, making it the Wien Museum's oldest musician's apartment that celebrates its former owner. It is a fascinating look into the personal and political life of one of the greatest composers of the classical era.
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