'The New Grove Haydn,' by James Webster and Georg Feder
'The New Grove Haydn,' by James Webster and Georg Feder (Palgrave, 2002, $14.95)
Haydn, the son of a wheelwright, was meant to follow the church. But the ambitious youth bucked his parents' wishes, instead pursuing a musical career. Called the "absolute musician," Haydn is widely recognized as the father of the symphony and an integral player in the evolution of the classical style. Authors James Webster and Georg Feder take the reader back to Haydn's early childhood and then through his studies in Vienna, Esterházy, and London. Background on the composer's personality and compositional style and method are discussed, and an in-depth and lengthy list of Haydn's works closes the book. Much like The New Grove Mozart, this listing mimics the format of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.