Creation Date: London, 2.Feb. 1795· Instrumentation: 2 Fl 2 Ob 2 Fg – 2 Hr 2 Trp – Pk – Str · Duration: 24’ · Created as Symphony #104.
Hob.I:102 Symphony in B-Flat Major
Haydn wrote his last three symphonies (Nos. 102-104) during the second half of his second stay in London for the Opera Concerts, which Johann Peter Salomon initiated in 1795 with several leading London musicians after his own concert series, the Salomon Concerts, were discontinued. The concert master of the orchestra was the famous violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti, for whom the extensive violin solo in Symphony No. 103 was intended. The Symphony in B-Flat Major (No. 102), the first of this group of three, was published on 2 February 1795 in the scope of a series of events whose concerts took place at the Haymarket Theatre. The first movement is grand and, like most of the London Symphonies, begins with a slow introduction. The original secondary theme dominates the movement; worth particular mention are the elaborate contrapuntal developments in the middle section, the development. After transposition to F-sharp major the slow movement (F major) is encountered in the Piano Trio in F-Sharp Minor (Hob. XV: 26), likewise written in 1795. This is presumably a tribute by Haydn to his admirer Mrs. Schroeter, who found the movement to the symphony extraordinary and to whom the piano trio is dedicated. There is a palpable contradiction between the merry minuet and its melancholy trio. The presto finale, again a sonata rondo, is another merry kehraus marked by humorous effects. The composer works here with short motifs which he kaleidoscopically whirls around in brilliant combinations of sound. No. 102 should actually carry the name The Miracle, for the incident which brought Symphony No. 96 of 1791 the name actually occurred in 1795, as later research has demonstrated.
I. Largo - Vivace
III. Menuet. Allegro - Trio
IV. Finale. Presto
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Philharmonia Hungarica Antal Dorati
33 CDs, aufgenommen 1970 bis 1974, herausgegeben 1996