Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) wrote four violin concertos, only three of which survive (No. 2 is lost). One of them is the Violin Concerto in G Major, Hob. VIIa/4, also known as Violin Concerto No. 4. It was composed around 1769, when he was the Kapellmeister at the Esterházy court.The style is typical of Haydn’s concertos of this period: very similar, for example, to his Cello Concerto in C Major. The orchestral scoring is for strings only. In this concerto, Haydn offers a full exposition of the aspects and attractions of the violin with elegant simplicity.
Michael Haydn (1737–1806) was one of the most accomplished composers of church music in the later 18th century. He was the younger brother of Joseph Haydn and an intimate friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791). The Concerto for Harpsichord (or Organ) and Viola is an early work that was composed between the years 1757 and 1762 when Haydn was Kapellmeister to the bishop of Grosswardein in Hungary (now Oradea in Romania).
The combination of harpsichord and viola is very rare in Baroque music. Although Michael Haydn could have considered pairing, for example, the violin and the harpsichord, the warm sound of the viola supports the harpsichord perfectly well.
Johann Michael Haydn was an Austrian composer of the classical age. He was the younger brother of the much more famous Joseph Haydn. Michael started his musical career as a choir boy at the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. When his voice matured, he was forced to leave the choir and so he fully dedicated himself to composing.
He composed primarily sacred music and besides about 40 symphonies, partitas, works for organ and chamber music. Especially his masses, with a remarkable use of Gregorian chant, reflect the Austrian sacred music practice of the Enlightenment. His Requiem had a significant influence on the Mozart's Requiem.
In 1757, he was named director of music in Großwardein and in 1762 he became the concert master and conductor of the bishop in Salzburg. He stayed in this function for 43 years. In Salzburg, he befriended Mozart, who admired his work. Meanwhile, he composed over 360 works in this period. Michael Haydn is nowadays considered as one of the first composers who composed seminal works for male choir. He also teached Carl Maria von Weber and Anton Diabelli. Schubert, who undoubtedly knew of his male choirs, was brought to tears at his grave in Salzburg. The birth home of the brothers Haydn can still be visited today in Rohrau, where a museum honouring the two composers has been erected.