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Creation Date: 1785· Instrumentation: Fl 2 Ob 2 Fg 2 Hr – Str · Duration: 22’ · Created as Symphony #84.
Hob.I: 87 Symphony in A Major
Symphony No. 87 was actually intended as the first and not at all as the last of the series of six Paris Symphonies, as is learned from a letter dated 2 August 1787 to the publisher, Artaria. As if a study for the Paris audience, Haydn kept the score especially simple so that the work is somewhat overshadowed by its sisters today. At first glance the first movement appears to have been developed without the features that are common with Haydn. The only surprise is a perplexing general pause in the development after the activity in the somewhat distant pianissimo G sharp major chord has ended. Taking a closer look at this circumstance alone, however, we might guess why Haydn was able to amaze his “new audience” in Paris: the interesting thing is not the general pause, but the reaching of a G sharp major chord in an A major symphony! Thus Haydn offers something for everyone – the “fright of a general pause” for those who “only” want to be entertained with music and a witty modulation for those seeking “analytical amusement.” In the end Haydn’s genius is also found in his success at “imperceptibly” blending the two. The primary focus of the symphony lies in its melodious adagio with the dialogue between solo flute and solo oboe. The finale is as much a sonata movement as the opening movement and is developed in the identical cadence. If this was extremely “light and fast-paced” then in relation to it the finale is all the more so: only a few rests are able to slow its momentum.
I. Vivace
II- Adagio
III. Menuet e Trio
IV. Finale, Vivace
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