Herausgeber: Sonja Gerlach und Jürgen Braun; Reihe I, Band 3; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 12 in E major
Even more than No. 16, this work is an apotheosis of the mid-century Austrian chamber symphony. Along with No. 29 of 1765, it is one of only two Haydn symphonies in the strongly 'sharp-side' key of E major. The opening Allegro, a very fast alla breve, begins with a suave, ingratiating theme for the strings, piano and mostly unison; the forte counterstatement leads without break into the second group, which even has time for a contrasting 'second theme'. The very short development returns to the tonic 'too soon', but the passage is based on the second theme and we again move away before the definitive preparation and return. This is an early version of Haydn's later 'false recapitulation'.
The slow movement, unusually, is marked Adagio; even more unusual is its key of E minor: after c. 1740, orchestral movements in sharp-side minor keys are very rare. Although it begins with a conventional 'siciliano' motive, we soon enter a strange 'operatic' world of unison forte outbursts, dissonance, chromaticism, and deceptive cadences. Most unusual of all, the exposition modulates to and cadences in the dominant minor key (B minor) rather than Haydn's usual relative major. We must suppose that this movement carried extramusical associations. By contrast, the Presto finale is all activity. Nevertheless, Haydn's inimitable combination of unpredictability and compositional craft raise it from routine entertainment to something higher.
Analysis of the movements
Due to the unclear time of origin of most of Haydn’s symphonies - and unlike his 13 Italian operas, where we really know the exact dates of premieres and performances - detailed and correct name lists of the orchestral musicians cannot be given. As a rough outline, his symphony works can be divided into three temporal blocks. In the first block, in the service of Count Morzin (1757-1761), in the second block, the one at the court of the Esterházys (1761-1790 but with the last symphony for the Esterház audience in 1781) and the third block, the one after Esterház (1782-1795), i.e. in Paris and London. Just for this middle block at the court of the Esterházys 1761-1781 (the last composed symphony for the Esterház audience) respectively 1790, at the end of his service at the court of Esterház we can choose Haydn’s most important musicians and “long-serving companions” and thereby extract an "all-time - all-stars orchestra".
|Flute||Franz Sigl 1761-1773|
|Flute||Zacharias Hirsch 1777-1790|
|Oboe||Michael Kapfer 1761-1769|
|Oboe||Georg Kapfer 1761-1770|
|Oboe||Anton Mayer 1782-1790|
|Oboe||Joseph Czerwenka 1784-1790|
|Bassoon||Johann Hinterberger 1761-1777|
|Bassoon||Franz Czerwenka 1784-1790|
|Bassoon||Joseph Steiner 1781-1790|
|Horn (played violin)||Franz Pauer 1770-1790|
|Horn (played violin)||Joseph Oliva 1770-1790|
|Timpani or Bassoon||Caspar Peczival 1773-1790|
|Violin||Luigi Tomasini 1761-1790|
|Violin (leader 2. Vl)||Johann Tost 1783-1788|
|Violin||Joseph Purgsteiner 1766-1790|
|Violin||Joseph Dietzl 1766-1790|
|Violin||Vito Ungricht 1777-1790|
|Violin (most Viola)||Christian Specht 1777-1790|
|Cello||Anton Kraft 1779-1790|
|Violone||Carl Schieringer 1768-1790|
33 CDs, aufgenommen 1970 bis 1974, herausgegeben 1996 Decca (Universal)
Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra
33 CDs, aufgenommen 1987 bis 2001, herausgegeben 1996
Academy of Ancient Music
10 Doppel- und Triple-CDs aufgenommen und herausgegeben 1990 bis 2000 Decca (Universal)
Hob.I:22 "Der Philosoph"
Hob.I:48 "Maria Theresia"
Hob.I:64 "Tempora mutantur"
Hob.I:63 "La Roxelane"
Hob.I:85 "La Reine"
Hob.I:83 "La Poule"