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Creation Date: 1760/61· Instrumentation: 2 Ob Fg 2 Hr – Str · Duration: 18’ · Created as Symphony #14.
Symphony No. 5 in A major
This is the first of two symphonies in this volume with the movement-sequence slow— fast-minuet-fast. Accordingly, the opening slow movement is an Adagio ('ma non troppo'), serious in tone, densely wrought, with a subtle, six-bar opening melody marked sonically by concertante horn interjections. (In all this, it resembles the more familiar No. 21 in A [see Volume 4], except there the oboes take the concertante lead.) Its construction is a straightforward sonata form, with the horns defining the form: the beginning of the recapitulation is highlighted by new wind doublings of the main theme, and the end by the unexpected return of a long-lost fanfare.
The second movement, Allegro 3/4, is dominated first by a unison main theme with striking dotted rhythms, then by incessantly forward-driving music articulated mainly by syncopations and tremolos. Even the one brief contrasting idea is built on restless eighth notes and non-periodic, sequentially developing motives; as so often in early Haydn, it is everything other than relaxing. The beginning of the recapitulation strikingly unites the tremolos and the dotted opening theme, the latter in free canon at the interval of a crotchet. The vigorous minuet again features the winds, especially in the trio. The short but spirited finale, Presto alla breve, is based on rapidly alternating, mainly contrapuntal phrases.
I. Adagio ma non Troppo
II. Allegro
III. Menuet e Trio
IV. Presto
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The Symphonies

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33 CDs, aufgenommen 1970 bis 1974, herausgegeben 1996 Decca (Universal)

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33 CDs, aufgenommen 1987 bis 2001, herausgegeben 1996
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10 doppel- und triple-CDs
aufgenommen und herausgegeben 1990 bis 2000
Decca (Universal)

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