Sinfonien um 1757-1760/61
Herausgeber: Sonja Gerlach und Ullrich Scheideler; Reihe I, Band 1; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 25 in C major
This work is almost as unusual as No. 15. It begins with a slow-fast compound movement, followed by a minuet and a fast finale. As in No. 15, the first movement opens with a long Adagio which eventually leads to a fast sonata-form movement. The Adagio is serious, almost 'ecclesiastical' in tone; the opening theme, based on a melody-type common in Austrian mid-century church sonatas, invokes trio-sonata style, unfolding contrapuntally over a 'walking' bass. But as the music proceeds, the topics and textures change constantly, and the Adagio soon proves to be formally and functionally ambiguous as well: like a slow introduction, it heads for the dominant; but unlike any proper introduction, it reaches and prolongs the dominant no fewer than four times, and is altogether much too long for the purpose. It fits no generic pattern.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the cyclic form of the whole symphony is ambiguous. If the Adagio is after all a (long and strange) introduction, the cyclic pattern would be intro/fast-minuet-finale; that is, a 'galant' three-movement form with a minuet in the middle but no slow movement, all three movements in the tonic. If, however, the Adagio were an independent opening slow movement, we would have slow/fast-minuet-finale, as in Nos. 5, 11, 21, 22 and others (see Volumes 1 and 4). But the Adagio is precisely not an independent movement. Symphony No. 25 remains a generic anomaly.
The Allegro molto proper is, like many other C major opening fast movements, in 2/4, with the usual bustling 'festive' air. The minuet in galant style is paired with a concer-tante trio, in which both oboes and horns have their chance to shine. The finale, like that to No. 3, is based on a variant of the four-note 'Jupiter' Symphony motto; here, however, contrapuntal display is at a minimum, with only a single brief imitation (barely audible as such) at the beginning of the development, and a somewhat more elaborate one at the beginning of the recapitulation.
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)