Sinfonien um 1780/81
Herausgeber: Heide Volckmar-Waschk und Stephen C. Fisher; Reihe I, Band 10; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 62 in D major
This symphony is one of Haydn's most unusual. All four of its movements are in the same key (D major), without even a change of mode: a condition found in no other Haydn symphony (other than a few much earlier ones that begin with a slow movement). As in all cases where Haydn does something unexpected, one can only gain by assuming that it represented a calculated artistic decision. The opening Allegro reveals its origins as an overture in its combination of bustling surface activity and slow harmonic rhythm. The development is remarkable for being built primarily on a new, quiet idea, moving slowly in four-bar sequential steps; only the retransition reverts to the material and mood of the remainder.
The stylistic and psychological centre of this symphony is the second movement, the one 'wrongly' set in the tonic. It is marked Allegretto; that is, not slow. Its character is almost unique in Haydn: ethereal, delicate, a beautiful dream or reverie. The mood of the opening piano for high strings, violins muted, basses silent does not seem to match the material, which Charles Rosen describes as 'the least possible two notes and a banal accompaniment'.1 However, these scraps are presented in a kind of rudimentary invertible counterpoint (the lower strings soon joining in); that is, they imply spiritual as well as material content. As the exposition continues, the winds enter by ones and twos: the flute during the transition to the dominant; oboes and bassoons at the first cadence in the dominant (the rhythm becoming more complex); finally the horns (the entire band now forte) at the beginning of the final paragraph of the exposition, whose ending however dies away again into ethereality. After a brief developmental episode in the minor, the recapitulation adds a graceful countermelody to the opening theme and an expansion and intensification of the rhythmically complex passage (in place of the full-band/forte), before the final cadences and a brief, quiet coda.
The minuet is straightforward (by Haydn's standards), while the trio in the subdominant, with its bassoon solo, adumbrates the famous syncopated trio of the 'Oxford' Symphony, in the same key. However, the large-scale sonata-form finale begins off the tonic, with predictably unpredictable consequences later on. This off-tonic beginning makes sense precisely because of the (as it were) excessive D-centricity of the symphony up to this point. At the same time, the finale is the most densely argued movement of the four, producing an appropriate sense of climax at the end.
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)