Herausgeber: Carl-Gabriel Stellan Mörner; Reihe I, Band 6; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 49 in F minor ("La passione")
The familiar nickname for this work, 'La passione', is not authentic; nor is there any evidence that it had anything to do with Easter or liturgical practice. Indeed a strikingly different nickname, 'The Good-humored Quaker', appears more often in eighteenth-century sources (though even these are inauthentic). Moralizing Quakers were a common theme in mid-century European drama; it has been speculated that this symphony, like others of Haydn's from this period, may have been performed, or even have originated, as incidental music to a play.9 Certainly its intensity and eccentricity suggest some kind of extra-musical association.
This work is the last of the six early Haydn symphonies that employ a variant of the usual four-movement symphonic form, in which the slow movement opens the work; it is followed by a fast movement, the minuet, and a fast finale. These opening slow movements are longer and slower than those in the usual second position, while the fast movements in second position tend to be shorter and more concentrated than opening fast movements. In addition, again in contrast to the usual procedure, all four movements are in the same key. These features seem to have induced Haydn to strike an especially serious tone and to strive for great tonal and rhetorical continuity.
Indeed this symphony is arguably the most strongly integrated Haydn had composed up to this time. Not only are all four movements in the tonic minor (relieved only in the trio of the minuet) and serious in tone, but all three sonata-form movements willfully cultivate discontinuity of rhetorical topics, harmonic progressions, dynamics, uses of the winds, and much else. Within his F minor tonic, Haydn consistently 'over-emphasizes' the dominant C. All five movements (counting the trio) begin on this pitch, and elaborate it with variants of the double-neighbour motive, C-D flat-B flat-C, heard unadorned at the very beginning of the work. In all three sonata-form movements the development, unusually, centres around the dominant minor key (C minor), and the return to the tonic for the recapitulation is harmonically and gesturally unstable. The most astonishing of these returns is that in the opening Adagio: an ungrammatical, rhetorically elliptical progression across a tritone (B natural to F). The dominant C is problematized by its absence, precisely where musical structure and convention most strongly demand it. And although the final climax of the movement duly brings a strong cadential dominant, it is only a dissonant six-four chord; the ensuing resolution into the final cadence drops back to piano, and the winds fall silent. Whatever Haydn meant by all this the entire symphony seems to stand under the shadow of this extraordinary movement it must have had extra-musical associations.
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)