Search shop:

  • Composer
  • Instrumentation
  • Level of Difficulty
  • Products
Search shop


Difficulty (Explanation)
Other titles of this difficulty
Piano Variations (Sonata) f minor Hob. XVII:6
7 difficult

About the Composer


Joseph Haydn

His immense oeuvre documents the profound changes in music history during the second half of the eighteenth century, leading to the emancipation of instrumental music. His most important genres are the symphony and the string quartet, where he cultivated the technique of motivic-thematic development; he made significant contributions to the instrumental concerto and to piano music; during the last years of his life, he composed his great oratorios. Opera and art song take on a rather subordinate significance.

1732Born in Rohrau, probably on March 31 (baptized on April 1).
1737 or 1738His uncle Johann Mathias Franck takes him in, in order to oversee his musical education.
around 1739/40For about 8–10 years, chorister at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
from 1750He makes his living as a musician, teacher, and composer.
1757–61Employed as music director by Count Morzin. He makes a name for himself as a composer: fifteen symphonies, piano sonatas, trios, divertimenti, string trios, wind partitas, string quartets Opp. 1 and 2.
1761“Times of Day” Symphonies Nos. 6–8: “Le matin,” “Le midi,” “Le soir.”
from 1761Employed by Prince Paul Anton at the Esterházy court, by Prince Nikolaus from 1762, by Paul Anton II from 1790–96, then by Nikolaus II, first as vice-Kapellmeister, then as Kapellmeister after 1766.
1764–65Symphonies No. 22 in E-flat major, “Philosopher”; No. 30 in C major, “Alleluia”; and No. 31 in D major, “Hornsignal.”
1766Prince Nikolaus Esterházy demands operas for the theater in his newly erected castle. Haydn’s operas are written primarily for special occasions, e.g., “La Canterina,” for the Kaiser’s visit in 1766. He composes many baryton pieces for Prince Nikolaus.
1766–74Eighteen symphonies, including “La passione” in F minor (1768), “Lamentatione” in D minor (1770), “The Schoolmaster” in E-flat major (1774), “Trauer” (“Mourning”) in E minor (1772): expanded expressive range (six are in minor keys), more counterpoint.
1768Premiere of “Lo speziale” on Goldoni’s libretto for the inauguration of the new opera house at Eszterháza.
1770Premiere of the dramma giocoso “Le pescatrici.” After a ten-year hiatus, he writes the pioneering string quartets “6 Divertimenti” Op. 9, and Op. 17 (1771).
1771Piano Sonata No. 20 in C minor.
1772“Farewell Symphony” No. 45 in F-sharp minor, “6 Divertimenti (‘Sun Quartets’),” Op. 20, which are characterized by contrapuntal techniques (some have fugues as final movements).
1775Premiere of the opera “L’incontro improvviso.”
around 1775–78“Missa brevis sancti Joannis de Deo (‘Little Organ Mass’).”
1776Prince Nikolaus calls for regular opera performances at Eszterháza. Haydn adjusts works imported from Vienna or Italy to the local taste. He moves from Eisenstadt to Castle Eszterháza, where he resides for ten months a year. Little instrumental music after 1776, often with integrated opera music.
1777Premiere of “Il mondo della luna,” after Goldoni.
1779Contact with the publisher Artaria, who distributes his compositions over the following decade.
1781Premiere of the opera “La fedeltà premiata.” Missa Cellensis, “Mariazellermesse”; String Quartets, Op. 33 (‘Russian Quartets’), which are written “in a quite new and special way” (Haydn) after a rather long break in composing quartets and regarded as paradigmatic for Haydn’s “wit” in the sense of his playful engagement with the instruments.
1782Premiere of “Orlando paladino.” He begins selling his compositions abroad as well; he has the Symphonies Nos. 76–78 and 79–81 (1783–84) printed in Paris.
1783Cello Concerto in D major (Hob. VIIb: 2).
1784Premiere of “Armida”; from this point he composes no more operas for the court. Piano Concerto in D major.
1785–86Commission by Count d’Ogny to write six symphonies (the Paris Symphonies, Nos. 82–87) to be performed at the Concert de la Loge Olympique in Paris.
1787–90String Quartets, Opp. 50, 54, and 55. After Nikolaus’ death, Prince Paul Anton II dismisses the entire court chapel; Haydn retains his office in name only.
1791Composition of the opera “L’anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Eurudice,” which never reaches the stage (posthumous performance in Florence in 1951).
1791–92Stay in London, engaged by the concert manager Johann Peter Salomon. “6 Quartetti,” Op. 64; the first volume of his transcriptions of Scottish folk songs appears in 1792. Composition of the first six London Symphonies Nos. 93–98, including the Surprise Symphony No. 94.
1792Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe, bassoon, and orchestra in B-flat major.
1794–95Second stay in London. Six London Symphonies Nos. 99–104, No. 104 has monothematic opening movement, “Military” Symphony No. 100 integrates Janissary music; sonata-rondo as a new form of final movement, e.g., in No. 102.
1794Accession to power of Nikolaus II, who calls for a mass to celebrate the princess’s name day every year. Six new masses are written: the “Heiligmesse” in B-flat major and the “Kettledrum Mass” in C major (1796), the “Nelson Mass” in D minor/D major (1798), the “Theresienmesse” in B-flat major (1799), the “Creation Mass” in B-flat major (1801), and the “Wind Band Mass” in B-flat major (1802).
1796Vocal setting of the initially instrumental version of “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross;” Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major.
1797Emperor’s Hymn “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser” (“God Save Emperor Francis”) and the Emperor Quartet in C major, Op. 76 No. 3.
1798Premiere of his oratorio “The Creation.”
1801Performance of oratorio “The Seasons.”
1809Dies in Vienna on May 31.

© 2003, 2010 Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart

About the Authors


Armin Raab (Introduction)

Dr. Armin Raab, born on 24.5.1956 in Förtschendorf, studied musicology, theatre studies and modern German literature in Erlangen and was awarded his doctorate in 1988 with a thesis on “Funktionen des Unisono, dargestellt an den Streichquartetten und Messen von Joseph Haydn”.

From 1992 to 1997 he was a research associate at the Beethoven-Archiv in Bonn. In July 1997 he moved to the Joseph Haydn-Institut in Cologne. He was director of research from 1999 until April 2022 and thus the Editorial Head of the Haydn Complete Edition (of which 41 volumes have appeared since he has been Head) and editor of the Haydn Studies. He is co-editor of the Haydn-Lexikon (Laaber 2010). Armin Raab has edited three volumes in the new Beethoven Complete Edition and “The Seasons” (also as a Henle study edition) and the Organ Concertos in the Haydn Complete Edition. As part of the Haydn Studies he has also published three volumes of the Haydn bibliography (amongst other things).

Das mehrfarbige Faksimile ist von hervorragender Qualität und eine kleine bibliophile Kostbarkeit.

Toccata, 2010

Henle stelt ons daarmee in staat het muzikaal drama van dit specifieke moment ook optisch mee te beleven en Haydns ervaren, kalme handschrift van de eerste zes pagina’s te vergelijken met het rusteloos gedreven handschrift in de toegevoegde coda …

Pianowereld, 2009

Die Einleitung von Armin Raab, dem wissenschaftlichen Leiter des Joeseph Haydn-Insituts in Köln, bringt die nötigen Zusatzinformationen in unprätentiöser Form, und die grafische Qualität der Wiedergabe der Handschrift lässt keine Wünsche offen - insgesamt also eine sehr gelungene Edition und ein schönes Beispiel dafür, dass es spannender ist, einen Einblick in einen vielleicht wirklich nicht ganz zu Ende geführten Kompositionsprozesses zu erhalten, als vor der allzu glatten Fassade eines angeblichen "Urtextes" zu stehen.

Schweizer Musik Zeitung, 2009



Further editions of this title
Joseph Haydn Ser. 18, Vol. 1 | Piano Sonatas, Volume I
Editor: Georg Feder
Complete Edition, clothbound
HN 5472

Variants from $65.00
$193.00 available

Variants from $65.00
$193.00 available
Further editions of this title
Joseph Haydn Ser. 18, Vol. 3 | Piano Sonatas, Volume III
Editor: Georg Feder
Complete Edition, critical report, paperbound
HN 5493

Variants from $45.95
$55.00 available

Variants from $45.95
$55.00 available