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Creation Date: Ende 1767· Instrumentation: 2 Ob Fg 2 Hr – Str · Duration: 22’ · Created as Symphony #42.
Symphony No. 58 in F major
This symphony seems to progress from normalcy to eccentricity. The Allegro theme is, unusually for Haydn, sustainedly cantabile and firmly rounded off at the end; energy and elan are reserved for the second group in the dominant and the second part of the development (whose first part shown the cantabile headmotive in a new, partly joking light). The Andante, in rounded-binary rather than sonata form, begins oddly with a nine-bar theme, which the remainder of the movement spins out at length. The minuet ala zoppa ('limping') has the same musical substance as that from the Baryton Trio Hob. XI: 52 in D. It is regular in phrasing; the nickname refers to the constant long notes on the second beat of the measure (note the subtle joke of varying the 'normal' first bar on its return, four bars later). In the baryton work, the minor-mode trio is marked 'al contrario', presumably to point up the contrast between its legato ductus and regular four-bar phrasing and the minuet; note as well the horn pedal, which dissonantly sounds through the changing harmonies in the strings. The Presto finale in 3/8 is based throughout on an offbeat motive that is rhythmically hard to grasp by ear; later, the eccentricity becomes pervasive, with sudden stops and starts, dynamic changes, and chromatics.
I. Allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuet alla zoppa e Trio un poco allegretto
IV. Finale Presto
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