Count Morzin

Mr. Peabody Says:

Count Morzin (Karl Joseph, Count Morzin) was an aristocrat of the Holy Roman Empire during the 18th century. He is remembered today as the first person to employ the composer Joseph Haydn as his music director, from 1757 to around 1760. Haydn wrote somewhere between 10 and 20 symphonies in this period.

A good Wiki article about Count Morzin is HERE:

Wiki articles are always collections of facts and not much fun to read, but they are a great place to start.

More than one Morzin:

There was a whole line of Counts Morzin. So there is a question of whether Haydn was hired by the reigning count (Ferdinand Maximilian) or his son (Karl Joseph)

The date of Haydn’s appointment is also uncertain:

it was in was sometime in 1757. The appointment ended a period of struggle and economic insecurity for the composer.


In the year 1759 Haydn was appointed in Vienna to be music director to Count Morzin with a salary of two hundred gulden, free room, and board at the staff table.

He worked in different location:

This migratory pattern was characteristic of aristocracy in Haydn’s day: summers on their hereditary estates in the provinces, winters in the fashionable capital.

Now many symphonies did he write in this period?

Haydn wrote, approximately, his first fifteen symphonies for Count Morzin.

What was the orchestra like?

The Count’s orchestra consisted more than 10 string players, the perhaps two oboes, two bassoons, and two horns, so perhaps 20 players or so. By the end of his career that expanded to around 60. So it was a small group, and the horns were a huge part of the sound. If you have two horns out of 60 players, it’s very different from two out of 20, and often there were less.

Haydn was not allowed to marry:

It was while Haydn was working for Count Morzin that he was married (17 November 1760) Anna Maria Keller, despite the fact that his contract forbade him to marry. If he had not gotten secretly married he would have avoided a horrible marriage. He wife, “the infernal idiot”, was a bad-tempered idiot, and he regretted getting hitched to her for the rest of his life.

Count Morzin ran out of money:

The Count found himself obliged to reduce his heretofore great expenditures. He dismissed his musicians and so Haydn lost his post as Kapellmeister.

Enter Prince Anton Esterhazy (Esterházy):

He got a raise in Eisenstadt to a salary of 400 florins. There he was officially the assistant Music Director at first, but the true director was really doing nothing at that point except some official church music, so young Haydn, only around 29 at first, was really running the show until he eventually officially became the head of the whole musical operation.

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