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Creation Date: London, 4. Mai. 1795· Instrumentation: 2 Fl 2 Ob 2 Kl 2 Fg – 2 Hr 2 Trp – Pk – Str · Duration: 27’ · Created as Symphony #106.
Hob.I:104 Symphony in D Major
Symphony No. 104 originated at the beginning of 1795 in London and is the last of the symphonies Haydn composed; Haydn himself noted on the title page of the handwritten score: “The 12th which I have composed in England.” Its first performance took place in the scope of a benefit concert which Haydn gave on 4 May 1795 in London; it was a component of the programme of the final Salomon Concerts in London in May-June, 1795, before Haydn returned to Vienna and Eisenstadt. Consequently, Symphony No. 104 is not only the crowning of the London Symphony series, but of all of Haydn’s symphonic work. It is the sum of Haydn’s compositional skill not only in regard to counterpoint, but also in the capacity typical of Haydn to harmonise contrapuntal brilliance with a popular musical idiom. The slow introduction, starting in fortissimo in a fanfare-like motive, ushers in an allegro of the greatest density of thematic dovetailing founded on a single thought. The slow movement features harmonic intricacies of a new kind. In its character the fast-paced minuet, a waltz with a trio whose effect is based on the use of solo instruments, deviates entirely from corresponding pieces in preceding symphonies. The bagpipe-like melody with which the finale begins is said to be attributed to a Croatian folk song sung in the Eisenstadt region during Haydn’s time.
I. Adagio - Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuet. Allegretto - Trio
IV. Finale. Allegro spiritoso
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