Violin Concerto No. 4 (Haydn)

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Violin Concerto No. 4
by Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn.jpg
Joseph Haydn in 1791; portrait by Thomas Hardy
KeyG major
CatalogueHob. VIIa/4

The Violin Concerto No. 4 in G major (Hob. VIIa/4) by Joseph Haydn is one of the composer's three surviving violin concertos.[1]


There is some doubt as to whether or not Haydn wrote the violin concerto, although there is general agreement that he did earlier than assumed, as it is more "old fashioned" than his previously numbered violin concertos.[2] As with his first violin concerto, it might have been written for Luigi Tomasini, concertmaster of the Esterházy orchestra, where Haydn was kapellmeister.[3] Although having been called "uniquely beautiful,"[4] Haydn remarked, "I was no wizard on any instrument, but I knew the potentialities and effects of all. I was not a bad pianist and singer and was also able to play a violin concerto."[5]


Scored for solo violin, string orchestra, and basso continuo. A typical performance lasts approximately 19 minutes.

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Adagio
  3. Finale: Allegro

The first movement is smooth, and plaintive, in sonata form, with concise phrases and ornate embellishments. This is followed by an aria-like middle movement, which weaves between major and minor keys.[6] The movement, with its "unmatched intimacy and loveliness," is followed by a "high-spirited" monothematic sonata-rondo.[4] The last movement, perhaps the most Haydnesque of all three movements, closely follows the galloping patterns and embellishments used by C. P. E. Bach in his music.[6]


  1. ^ Anderson, Keith. "HAYDN, J.: Violin Concertos, Hob. VIIa: 1, 3, 4 (Hadelich)". Naxos. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  2. ^ Friesenhagen, Andreas. "Haydn Violin Concertos". Deutsche Grammaphon. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  3. ^ Huscher, Phillip. "Violin Concerto no. 4 in g major, Hob. VIIa:4" (PDF). Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b Thomas, Günter. "Violin Concerto G major Hob. VIIa:4: Preface" (PDF). Henle. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  5. ^ Hinson, Maurice (2005). The Complete Piano Sonatas, Volume 2: For Late Intermediate to Advanced Piano. Alfred Music. p. 4. ISBN 9781457421419.
  6. ^ a b Reel, James. "Violin Concerto in G major, H. 7a/4". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 January 2016.

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