Symphony No. 93 (Haydn)

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The Symphony No. 93 in D major, Hoboken I/93, is the first of the twelve so-called London symphonies (numbers 93-104) written by Joseph Haydn.

It was completed in 1791 as one of the set of symphonies completed for his first trip to London. It was first performed at the Hanover Square Rooms in London on 17 February 1792.

Movements[edit]

The work is in standard four-movement form and scored for two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings.[1]

  1. AdagioAllegro assai, 3/4
  2. Largo cantabile, cut time in G major
  3. Menuetto. Allegro, 3/4
  4. Finale: Presto ma non troppo, 2/4

Towards the end of the second movement, the music gradually becomes slower and softer until an unexpected fortissimo bassoon "fart"[2] 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" in the slow movement.[3]

The minuet proper has a ländler character. The minuet's trio is highly original and juxtaposes timpani-punctated fanfare outbursts with quieter passages scored only for strings.[2]

In the fourth movement, the oboe quotes "Viva la libertà" from Mozart's Don Giovanni.[4] 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.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Steinberg, Michael. "The Symphony: a listeners guide". p. 213-215. Oxford University Press, 1995.
  2. ^ a b c Brown, A. Peter, The Symphonic Repertoire (Volume 2). Indiana University Press (ISBN 0-253-33487-X), pp. 252-256 (2002).
  3. ^ Antony Hodgson, The Music of Joseph Haydn: The Symphonies. London: The Tantivy Press (1976): 128
  4. ^ Andreas Kluge, liner notes for George Szell's recording with the Cleveland Orchestra for Sony Masterworks, on the Essential Classics series.

External links[edit]