|Haydn wrote the Kaiserhymne to Emperor Franz ll when Austria was endangered by France. "Gott
erhalte Franz den Kaiser" was first performed on the Emperor's birthday, February 12, 1797. It
proved popular, and came to serve unofficially as Austria's first national anthem. The melody is also
the second movement of one of Haydn's "Emperor Quartet" and was later used in Das Lied der
Deutschen, which is still Germany's national anthem. Its lyrics adapted through the years. This is the
|According to his servant Johann Elssler, Haydn was especially fond of it and it was the last music he
ever played. It was used for official purposes in Austria until it was abolished along with the
monarchy in 1919.
|Haydn and the Kaiserhymne
|Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser
|On May 31, 1809, Haydn died of exhaustion at his house in Vienna. He is regarded by some as
father of the symphony and the string quartet, and although he did not originate them, he took both
genres from their beginnings to a high level of sophistication. His style of development laid the
foundations for the larger structures of Beethoven.
|Franz Joseph Haydn, the son of a wheelwright, was born in Rohrau on the Leitha on March 31,
1732. He attended the choir school of St. Stephen's in Vienna and received an elementary musical
education. He remained largely self taught. Living in Vienna, he made several important social
connections, notably with the royal Esterhazy family who would sponsor him. Haydn married, but
had no children. Haydn and Mozart were friends and Mozart dedicated string quartets to Haydn. He
was well known, widely travelled, and hugely popular, yet some of his music remains unpublished
and little known.