1809 — Joseph Haydn dies

Franz Josef Haydn is known as both the “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet” because of his important contributions to these genres. However, despite his many contributions to the sonata form, he is not the “Father of the Sonata.”

He was a prolific composer with few illusions regarding the magnitude of his talents or the importance of his contributions to the development of music. He died at age 77, shortly after an attack on Vienna by Napoleon’s force. Among his last words was a characteristically humble attempt to calm and reassure his servants when cannon shot fell in the neighborhood: “My children, have no fear, for where Haydn is, no harm can fall.

Referenced in:

Decomposing Composers — Monty Python