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Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809) was a genius and was celebrated during his lifetime – but to this day, he remains in the shadow of Mozart and Beethoven. Maybe that is because he lived a life without scandal or financial difficulties, so he did not fit the later picture of what a musical genius was. However, his works have certainly stood the test of time. His almost 100 symphonies, the two oratorios The Seasons and The Creation, the string quartets and his piano music served as templates for later composers and are an essential part of the repertoire of musicians today.

The documentary ‘Joseph Haydn: Libertine & His Master’s Servant’ from 2009 is a kind of road movie that follows the trail of Haydn and visits all the locations of his life and work. The result is a comprehensive picture of this great composer, which also integrates his works. The portrait of Haydn is complemented by informative descriptions from renowned musicologists and interpreters of Haydn such as conductor Sir Roger Norrington, baritone Thomas Quasthoff and pianist Ragna Schirmer.

This music documentary is an extensive source of material for anyone who would like to know who Joseph Haydn was, what role he played during his lifetime and what the nature of his continuing huge significance is. It gives almost a complete picture of this great composer of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Here’s Joseph Haydn in a 54-minute-long nutshell.

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