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Creation Date: 1786· Instrumentation: Fl 2 Ob 2 Fg – 2 Hr 2 Trp – Pk – Str · Duration: 27’ · Created as Symphony #88.
Hob.I: 86 Symphony in D Major
Symphony No. 86 in D Major composed in 1786 is the only piece in the sequence of the six Paris Symphonies which in the “official” sequence as No. 5 coincides with what Joseph Haydn originally intended. Like No. 85 and No. 84, No. 86 features a slow introduction to the first movement. Yet while the introduction to La Reine (No. 85) is supposed to produce a ceremonious atmosphere, the one in No. 86 performs primarily a dramaturgic task: Haydn would not have been able to open the symphony with the theme of the main part in allegro. With this introduction to the symphony Haydn is boldly experimental again. The principal theme of the first movements is not an established musical entity in itself, but in fact a transitional sequence beginning at a subordinate level of the D major circle and only then transitioning into the main key, which is all the more firmly established. This transitional phrase is also manifested at several unexpected points in the movement, thereby furnishing the composer with the opportunity to create subtle effects. The splendid largo is called Capriccio probably because Haydn blends the most diverse elements of form in the most capricious of ways without the movement exhibiting the usual repetitive breaks. The minuet does not dispense with the folkloric moments – yet elements of aristocratic elegance are noticeable, as well, as is a certain melancholy with which Haydn explodes the boundaries of a simple “little dance” – be it aristocratic or folkloric. The return of the beginning part of the minuet is extended by means of “reflective pauses.” Bucolic shepherd melodies waft aloft in the trio (violins and bassoon in octaves accompanied by string pizzicato). Consisting of a single rhythmic impulse, in an animated spirit the finale hastens by.
I Adagio - Allegro spiritoso
II Capriccio (Largo)
III Menuet e Trio (Allegretto)
IV Finale (Allegro con spirito)
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