Symphony No. 93 (Haydn)
Of the twelve London symphonies, the No. 93 appears first in the Hoboken-Verzeichnis catalogue. However, it was likely the third to be composed of the set, after the No. 96 in D major and the No. 95 in C minor.
- Adagio – Allegro assai, 3/4
- Largo cantabile, cut time in G major
- Menuetto. Allegro, 3/4
- Finale: Presto ma non troppo, 2/4
The introduction is twenty measures long and marked "Adagio". It opens with the orchestra playing the tonic note, D, in unison, avoiding the establishment of the home key of D major with root-position harmony. The introduction then proceeds on an harmonic excursion, through the dominant (A major), a Neapolitan chord (E-flat major, built on G), a diminished seventh, the parallel minor (D minor), and the subdominant minor (G minor), before concluding with a dominant seventh chord.
After the dominant seventh chord, the main body of the movement, marked "Allegro", commences with the statement of the principal theme. The exposition then continues with a transitional passage before a secondary theme in the dominant, A major. The American musicologist A. Peter Brown compared the secondary theme to a Ländler.
The development involves significant re-working of a motif from the secondary theme. The motif is inverted, and passed through a series of remote keys. Unusually for a late Haydn work, the recapitulation involves few surprises. It reprises the principal and secondary themes in the tonic before a short coda.
Towards the end of the second movement, the music gradually becomes slower and softer until an unexpected fortissimo bassoon "fart" brings the music back for the movement's closing. This shows Haydn's sense of humor—similar to the 2nd movement of the Surprise Symphony. Antony Hodgson identifies George Szell as a conductor who was not afraid to overdo "the vulgarity of this joke". Hodgson argues that "if, in concert, none of the audience laughs, then the episode must have been underplayed."
In the fourth movement, the oboe quotes "Viva la libertà" from Mozart's Don Giovanni. Haydn wrote in a letter to Maria Anna von Genzinger that he was not completely satisfied with the finale because he considered it weak compared to the first movement. He stated that he planned to revise it, but there is no evidence that any revision ever took place.
- Brown, A. Peter (2002). The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Indiana University Press. pp. 243–244. ISBN 025333487X.
- Steinberg, Michael (1998). The Symphony: A Listener's Guide. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 213. ISBN 978-0195126655.
- Steinberg, Michael. "The Symphony: a listeners guide". p. 213-215. Oxford University Press, 1995.
- Brown, A. Peter (2002). The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Indiana University Press. p. 252. ISBN 025333487X.
- Brown, A. Peter (2002). The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Indiana University Press. pp. 252–253. ISBN 025333487X.
- Brown, A. Peter (2002). The First Golden Age of the Viennese Symphony: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Indiana University Press. p. 253. ISBN 025333487X.
- Brown, A. Peter, The Symphonic Repertoire (Volume 2). Indiana University Press (ISBN 0-253-33487-X), pp. 252-256 (2002).
- Antony Hodgson, The Music of Joseph Haydn: The Symphonies. London: The Tantivy Press (1976): 128
- Andreas Kluge, liner notes for George Szell's recording with the Cleveland Orchestra for Sony Masterworks, on the Essential Classics series.
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