The idea of Haydn being a servant, all be it an influential and famous servant, was something that I found fascinating during the concert on Sunday.
Haydn and Mozart both submitted their genius to the blood-birth authority of the nobility. Beethoven asserted his genius but early in his life he was still attached to a court.
This brought to mind the writings of Herman Hesse.
In his Nobel Prize winning novel, The Glass Bead Game, and in his much earlier novel, Steppenwolf, he asserts that all music written after Beethoven is self serving.
The principal character in The Glass Bead Game is Joseph Knecht. Knecht is German for servant. Knecht is a musician who finds playing the music of early Baroque masters like Scarlatti can be a form of prayer and medition. Both the performer and composer exist to serve music.
In Steppenwolf, the principal character is Harry Haller. In "the hall of magic mirrors", Harry sees Brahms and Wagner both approaching each other from opposite sides of a vast desert. Each composer is leading an enless army of musical notes.
Harry observes that he thought these two composers were opposites but in reality they have the same approach to music. The music serves them. The music is an extension of their egos and exists to further their individual, separate agendas.