Symphonies
icon   SYMPHONY 'LA POULE' NR.83 IN G-MINOR   info

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Creation Date: 1785· Instrumentation: Fl 2 Ob 2 Fg 2 Hr – Str · Duration: 21’ · Created as Symphony #86.
Hob. I: 83 Symphony in G Minor La Poule
Symphony No. 83 in G Minor, La Poule, was composed in 1785 and originally intended by Haydn as a third piece of the six-piece cycle of Paris Symphonies. What is most obvious in this work is the effect the change of the target group for whom Haydn was now writing his symphonies had on his conception of symphony. The international arena obviously made Haydn an ironic intellectual of enormous calibre. The key of G minor has nothing of the passionate character of expression still found in No. 39 – one of the major works in Haydn’s Sturm und Drang period – or of that in Mozart’s two G minor symphonies. Symphony No. 83 begins in a highly dramatic fashion scattered with diminished sevenths only to suddenly transition to the secondary theme for which the work received its sobriquet, La Poule (The Hen). The irony continues throughout the entire symphony, in the andante, for example, when after a sequence of four bars of repeated eighth notes in which the music seems to drift off to sleep (sempre piu piano) a fortissimo suddenly enters, or in the bucolic minuet. The finale has an unusual 12/8 time signature: like several of Haydn’s symphonies from the Esterházy period in which he plays on the primary social amusement of the male aristocracy, the symphony ends with the “hunting” finale.
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I. Allegro spiritoso
II. Andante
III. Menuetto e Trio, Allegretto
IV. Finale, Vivace
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