Sinfonien 1773 und 1774
Herausgeber: Wolfgang Stockmeier; Reihe I, Band 7; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 56 in C major
This 'trumpet' symphony is the only one in which Haydn explicitly specified both C alto horns and trumpets (as we have seen in the musicological note, trumpets were unusual; when they were paired with horns, the latter were usually basso). The first movement immediately exploits this brilliant sound-world: first the trumpets, then the horns descend through a triad, while the more massive (and expected) unison writing comes in the third phrase, after the piano contrast. The exposition includes that rarity, a genuine second theme (although it turns out to be merely a large-scale antecedent, the harmonic consequent reverting to forte except that the cadence, thus long-delayed, is piano after all!). The first half of the development exploits the contrasts of the beginning through numerous modulations; eventually it settles into a loud imitative section that cadences on E as the dominant of A minor (compare Symphony No. 50), from where a brief, quiet interlude brings us home.
The Adagio is another of Haydn's long, deeply felt utterances characteristic of this period (compare No. 54). But it is far more concertante than No. 54: the oboes and obbligato bassoon are prominent throughout, and the horns are often independent as well (in this respect it is more closely related to No. 51, in vol. 7). Several passages in the minor uncannily anticipate Schumann, perhaps especially the slow movement of his Symphony N0.2.
The minuet is again very long, in miniature sonata form and with a good joking retransition back from the supertonic. The trio, for oboe and strings in the subdominant, is a brief study in elegance; it is tempting to imagine Haydn having wanted to produce here a 'normal' version of his deviant trio from No. 50.
The sonata-form finale is a C-major perpetuum mobile in triplets (only the rests demarcating the short individual phrases break the momentum). This too was something of a 'type'; compare the finale of Mozart's Symphony in C, K338. The development centers around the relative, A minor; a 'surprise' diminished seventh leads down a fifth to D minor, from where, as in the minuet, we revert directly to the recapitulation but in a much more abrupt manner, with the greatest sonic climax in the symphony.
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)