Nele Münchmeyer's documentary throws light upon Haydn as the ingenious composer and as the private person – the "Libertine" in his private life and the "Servant" as the Kapellmeister of Esterházys'.
Haydn's lifetime saw a series of striking changes in musical style. At the time of his birth and childhood baroque traditions still prevailed. By the end of his life the apparent stability of the classical style was being challenged, notably by Beethoven. Haydn did not simply live through this long development; he was a central part of it.
The film includes excerpts from highly acclaimed performances of Haydn works. Amongst them are: the opera, Armida with the German Soprano Annette Dasch, Arias from Haydn performed by the Freiburger Barockorchester and the Baritone Thomas Quasthoff, performances of Die Schöpfung and Die Jahreszeiten conducted by Roger Norrington.