Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven" we say, with about the same obviousness as we say Huey, Dewey and Louie in Donald Duck. But today, the trinity is a bit of a stretch, compared to the status of Mozart and Beethoven no doubt Haydn has lagged behind, often as a "warm-up" to the real thing (Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, etc.). The perception of him as ingenious, but harmless is tenacious. But in spite of working for 30 years at a remote princely court, Joseph Haydn became the undisputed leading figure of his time. And the story of modern concert hall music begins with him. After publishing a number of books about very different composers, it may seem odd to say that he is the one you have always wanted to write about. And yet it is true:  Haydn and his music has followed me since boyhood. He was always there, just like parents. A symbol of life and music without struggle and tears, quietly emphasising the obvious: That life is worth living!



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