Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Music (MMUS)




F. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) is known in music history as a great composer who typified the stylistic features of the classical period. He earned the titles "Father of the Symphony," and "Father of the String Quartet" which reflect both his tremendous contributions to instrumental music and his perfection of the late eighteenth century musical style. Many people think only of Haydn as an instrumental composer­ not remembering the opera and sacred music he wrote. In fact, during the last twelve years of his long successful life, "Papa Haydn," composed some of the greatest music ever written for the church. After writing almost exclusively for instruments, Haydn turned his talents to compositions that utilized the voice including solo repertoire and oratorios. Within this output is a little-known group of thirteen partsongs, Mehrstimme Gesänge, (1796-1799). These songs, written in Haydn's leisure time, and con amore, are something of a window into Haydn's personality reflecting many of the elements found throughout his compositions. His subtle humor, his contemplativeness and his devout religious convictions are themes found throughout the Mehrstimme Gesänge, yet the songs are only briefly mentioned (if at all) in articles concerning Haydn's compositions and are performed even more rarely. The Mehrst1mme Gesänge offer a unique opportunity to explore a more intimate side of Haydn both through what has been written concerning these songs and through a conductor's preparation for their performance. Studying the historical aspects of Haydn's life is necessary before discussing the intricacies of the works and how these pieces might be performed.


Presented to the Department of Music and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Music (MMUS) University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1987 Denise Rolloff Tewes.