Music and Masons

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

As part of our Music and Masons series, here is a page on Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), who was reportedly brought into Freemasonry by his friend Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna on 11 February 1785.

Franz Joseph Haydn was one of the leading composers of his day. Rather than attempting a lengthy biography of Haydn on this site, here are some websites with additional information about Franz Joseph Haydn, followed by selected YouTube videos of performances of Haydn compositions:

Haydn’s output was prolific but here are some selected YouTube videos of Franz Joseph Haydn compositions:

Trumpet Concerto (with Wynton Marsalis as soloist)

Here’s another performance of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, recorded in 1998 with Yehudi Menuhin conducting and Hakan Hardenberger as soloist:

Cello Concerto

Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major – with Mischa Maisky as soloist

Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major – with Mischa Maisky as soloist

Piano Concerto

Piano Concerto No.11 in D major – Mikhail Pletnev as soloist

Violin Concerto

Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major – Joshua Bell as soloist


Haydn wrote 108 symphonies between 1759 and 1795. Here are a few selections:

Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor – known as the Farewell because the musicians gradually leave the stage during the final movement (the 4th movement). Haydn’s employer, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, was apparently in the habit of taking extended trips with his private orchestra – which was led by Haydn.

Haydn wrote the 4th movement during one of these trips as a hint to Prince Nikolaus Esterházy that the musicians wanted to go home.

Here’s the 4th movement on its own:

Symphony No. 79 in F major – performed  by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music

Symphony No. 88 in G Major – This performance is by the Vienna Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein conducting.

Symphony No.94 in G major. Known as “the Surprise” because of the sudden loud chord in the 2nd movement. Apparently Haydn noticed some members of his audiences dozing during performances and decided to wake them up.

This performance is by the Vienna Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein conducting.

Symphony No. 101. – known as “The Clock”. Performed by Sinfonica de Galicia

Symphony No. 103 in G Major – known as “The Military”

Symphony No. 104, known as “The Military” – Performed by Sinfonica de Galicia

Sinfonia Concertante

Sinfonia Concertante in B flat major

The Creation

performed in English by the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

performed in German by the Vienna Philharmonic and State Opera Choir


Piano Sonata no. 59 in E flat – performed by Alfred Brendel

Religious Music

Mass In Time of War

The Creation

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