2. Haydn, the middle symphonies

Here, again, is the basic template for the symphony…

… but it’s important to realise that in Haydn’s time the form was still in its infancy and that, apart from a vague general outline, he was making it up as he went along. His powers of invention are astonishing but, when asked about this originality, he (characteristically) answered:

I was cut off from the world.
There was no one to confuse or torment me,
and I was forced to become original.

(Haydn, as a servant of the Esterházy family, spent much of his time in the palace of Eszterháza situated in isolation in northern Hungary).

Here are two middle period symphonies, demonstrating his powers of invention, his wit and his adaptability:

… No. 46 in B (5 sharps! An unusual key for the time), one of the so-called Sturm und Drang [Storm and Stress] symphonies…

5:21Poco Adagio
10:20Menuet & Trio, Allegretto
12:52 Finale, Presto e Scherzando


…and No. 31 in D (Horn signal), demonstrating what to do if you suddenly find you have four gifted horn players on your hands:

Allegro (0:00)
Adagio (7:11)
Menuetto (17:18)
Finale: Moderato molto (22:14)


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