DID YOU KNOW THAT… The Viennese classics with names!


In the history of music (and not only!) each period has its own names, which in a way create its character.

There are three composers associated with the Viennese Classics (and what composers!), none of whom were born in Vienna, but who developed their artistic skills there: Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Ludwik van Beethoven (1770-1827) – and it is the dates of their lives that mark the era of the Viennese Classics. In the face of these three great composers, other contemporary composers fade away, becoming almost forgotten phenomena. In the opera, it was these three composers who managed to adapt all elements of the Baroque style – from singspiel through the Italian opera seria, the French tragedie lyrique, opera buffa to opera comique – to the course of events at the turn of the century and create an unforced transition to the most colourful era in the history of the opera – Romanticism.

Until then, music and its creators had been associated with the church or secular aristocracy, and above all with the ruling court. The leading musicians of the new era tried to liberate themselves from dependence on the princes. Both Haydn and Mozart, but also Beethoven began their careers in court circles, from which they were liberated with a certain slack. Unlike Haydn, who maintained relations with the house of Esterhazy von Galanth almost all his life, Mozart and Beethoven suffered throughout their lives that the social position of musicians was not equal to their artistic prestige. Mozart, who had tried to radically free himself from his dependence on the princes and bishops, ended up in poverty and was buried in a mass grave. Beethoven, despite his impatient rush to freedom and his violent rejection of all despotism, could not liberate himself from the influence of kind aristocratic benefactors who provided him with existence in Vienna.
The most important thing is that they gave us an invaluable thing – Music! And the fact that the circumstances and costs of creating great art are sometimes different is yet another matter…