Symphony No. 37 (Haydn)

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The Symphony No. 37 in C major, Hob. I/37, is a symphony by Franz Joseph Haydn. The numbering is completely misleading, as it is clearly one of Haydn's earliest symphonies. A copy of the score found at Český Krumlov, Czech Republic, is dated 1758. It can be presumed it was written for the orchestra of Count Morzin, in which Haydn was employed until[1] February 1761.

This symphony is a candidate for the first one he ever had written, if his Symphony No. 1 was not indeed his first symphony.[2]


The work is scored for two oboes, bassoon, two horns, trumpets, timpani and strings with continuo.[3] It is possible the trumpet and timpani parts were added later.[4]

The work is in four movements:

  1. Presto (C major, 168 bars,[5] 2
  2. Menuet e Trio (C major and C minor (Trio), 24 bars and 26 bars (Trio),[5] 3
  3. Andante, C minor, 71 bars,[5] 2
  4. Presto, C major, 82 bars,[5] 3

The key organization limited to C major and C minor in the four movements indicates perhaps a reliance on the Baroque suites as a guide for tonal organization of the movements, the influence of the first three symphonies by C.P.E. Bach,[6][7][8] or an early simplicity of tonal language.[citation needed] (Haydn was in his mid-20s at the composition of this symphony.)

First Movement[edit]

Similarities have been drawn between the 2
opening movement and the 2
finale to Georg von Reutter's Servizio di tavola in C major from 1757.[1] The two knew each other because Reutter was the director of music in St. Stephen's Cathedral where Haydn sang as a child.

Second Movement[edit]

The work is one of the few symphonies of the Classical era to place the Minuet second (others include Haydn's 32nd and 44th, and his brother Michael's 15th and 16th). The IMSLP reverses the order of the Menuet e Trio and the Andante, thus bringing the movement order to the standard that was eventually established as common practice.[5]

Third Movement[edit]

The slow movement is very similar to the slow movement in one of Haydn's earliest piano sonatas, Hob. XVI:Es2.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Brown, A. Peter, The Symphonic Repertoire (Volume 2). Indiana University Press (ISBN 025333487X), pp. 42–43 (2002).
  2. ^ Stapert, Calvin R. (2014). Playing Before the LORD - The Life o Joseph Haydn. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 34. ISBN 9780802868527.
  3. ^ H. C. Robbins Landon, The Symphonies of Joseph Haydn. London: Universal Edition & Rockliff (1955): 671. "2 ob., 2 cor. (prob. in C alto) and/or 2 clarini (trpt.), timp., str. [fag., cemb.]."
  4. ^ Hodgson (1976): 59. "The trumpet and timpani parts were almost certainly added later."
  5. ^ a b c d e,_Hob.I:37_(Haydn,_Joseph)
  6. ^ Whose Symphony in D major, H.651 of 1755 uses D major for each of its three movements. See
  7. ^ His Symphony in E minor, H.653 of 1756 has movements in E minor, G major, and E minor. See,
  8. ^ The C.P.E. Bach Symphony in G major, H.648 of 1741 has movements in G major, G minor, and G major. See