The so-called "Father of the String Quartet" was born on March 31, 1732.. But Joseph Haydn didn't set about trying to change the music world. He just found himself in a unique situation.
Isolated from much of the rest of the musical world, Haydn's duties to the Esterházy family allowed him to experiment and push the envelope of compositional techniques. He later remembered, "I was cut off from the world. There was no one in my vicinity to make me unsure of myself or to persecute me, and so I had to become original."
It wasn't uncommon to hear the combination of two violins, viola and cello. It's just that no one had concentrated on it like Haydn.
To celebrate Haydn's 279th birthday, WFIU will be highlighting the string quartet throughout our classical music on Thursday at 9am, 10am, 7pm, and 10pm-Midnight.
What Do You Think?
We want to hear from you. What's your favorite string quartet? Or which quartet (ensemble) do you rank #1?
We'll be selecting the best responses to read during our classical programming on Thursday.
To whet your appetite, here's a little quartet humor from Haydn: