Music lovers, and especially Viennese enthusiasts, may find much of interest in this straightforward, articulately performed, informative audiobook about the life and work of Franz Joseph Haydn, an Austrian composer often referred to as the "Father of the Symphony". Haydn, a close friend and contemporary of composers including Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was himself an acclaimed composer whose contributions to classical music still resonate in and shape the musical world to this day.
Written by Rosemary Hughes and performed by Michael Burrell, this enchanting audiobook features performances of Haydn's work alongside light, vibrant narration, interspersed with excerpts from pertinent letters and writings relating to Haydn's compositions.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Contains relatively little biographical detail.
How could the performance have been better?
Audio recordings seem to be of low quality, as if you are listening to them through a pillow.
Any additional comments?
I have enjoyed most of my previous Audible purchases but would advise prospective buyers to steer clear of this title. The text provides only very cursory information about Haydn's life. It plays long passages from recordings (of low-ish quality) without always telling you which work it is (this accounts for at least 50% of the length). There is no musical analysis, so there's no inside look on how Haydn was innovative; instead all you are told is things like Haydn is the father of the string quartet, that his music was passionate, etc.