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Presenting a fresh picture of the life and work of Joseph Haydn, this biography captures all the complexities and contradictions of the composer's long career. In his lifetime Haydn achieved a degree of fame that easily surpassed that of Mozart and Beethoven. Later his historical significance was more restricted, regarded exclusively as the composer who first recognised the potential of the symphony and the quartet. However, Haydn had also composed operas, oratorios and church music with similar enthusiasm and self-regard. Too easily buttonholed as a Viennese composer, he interacted consistently with the musical life of Vienna only during the earliest and latest periods of his life; London was at least as important in fashioning the composer's fame and legacy. To counter the genial view of the composer, this biography probes the darker side of Haydn's personality, his commercial opportunism and double dealing, his penny-pinching and his troubled marriage.