Creation Date: 1757/60· Instrumentation: 2 Ob Fg 2 Hr – Str · Duration: 15’ · Created as Symphony #5.
Symphony No. 4 in D major
The opening Presto of this symphony resembles that of No. 1 (also a Presto in D) as a 'type', in its motivically driving character, and in such passages as the minor-mode interlude for violins alone. In the development, however, the impressive twofold modulating crescendo sequence and the long, suspenseful retransition are very different. But the real departure is the Andante, one of Haydn's earliest 'atmospheric' studies. It is set in the minor, the violins con sordino, and it welds three separate rhythms freely developing melody, beginning messa di voce; sinuously syncopated, melodically active inner part; 'walking' bass into a mood that is not easily described, but once heard is not easily forgotten. The Tempo di Menuetto finale begins with one of Haydn's earliest thematicist gestures: whereas in the Presto the violins swooped down the scale from A to D, now they sweep right back up from D to A. It is a miniature sonata form; the development, though merely a long dominant pedal, moves in its second half into the minor, on a motive that recalls the end of the Andante.