How did Haydn influence Beethoven?
A person will almost always disclaim someone who has the most profound influence on his life. Beethoven was no exception. Haydn was among the pioneers who embraced the symphonic form, hence him being known as the father of symphonies. While his symphonies are simple and pleasing, Beethoven expanded that form to accommodate his passion. Or maybe he did that – changed the symphonic mould of the fast-slow-dance-fast to fast-slow-SCHERZO (joke) – fast – simply to spite his ‘old and useless teacher’. I read somewhere about a modern music book author describing Beethoven’s first symphonies (1 and 2) as ‘Haydn on steroids’. Beethoven might have thought that his lessons with Haydn was useless, but if not for this episode in his life, those mighty nine symphonies might never see the light of day, and inspire a generation of composers who went on to bask in the Romantic period.