Sinfonien um 1777-1779
Herausgeber: Sonja Gerlach und Stephen C. Fisher; Reihe I, Band 9; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 63 in C major ('La Roxelane')
Of all the symphonies in this volume, this one most clearly exemplifies Haydn's 'entertainment' mode of the late 1770s, offering 'easy', interesting, varied pleasure. All the movements are in the major, instantly apprehensible, lightly textured; they move within familiar styles and conventions and include few moments of expressive intensity. In the beginning of the first movement, the contrasts of dynamics, instrumentation, and texture between the opening theme and its counter-statement are crystal-clear, such that the more rapid and complex contrasts that follow are intelligible as well. The second group, which enters without transition, falls into a series of block-like, again internally contrasting, phrases which occasionally resemble the opening movement of Symphony N0.82 'The Bear', in the same key and metre. The development restricts itself to closely-related keys and avoids remote or 'difficult' modulations; on the other hand it is unusually long in proportion to the exposition, with extensive repetition of thematic blocks; Haydn compensates for this with extensive cuts in the recapitulation.
The Allegretto is a double variation movement (A-B-A’-B’-A2-B2) on a sprightly tune which the sources label 'La Roxelane'; it is not known whether it was drawn from incidental music Haydn composed for Favart's play in 1777 or newly composed in 1779. Although the usual modal organisation is reversed the 'main' theme is in C minor, the contrasting one in the major the major predictably wins out in the end. The final minor variation slightly alters the harmonies and phrase rhythm, while the full-band scoring of the repeated final major strains resembles the conclusions of more elaborate variation movements in C major and duple metre in the 'Surprise', 'Military' and 'Drum Roll' Symphonies.
The galant minuet may sound old-fashioned, but there is nothing 'pat' about Haydn's play with the piano 'Scotch snap' motive first heard at the end of the initial strain; the trio is a duet for oboe and bassoon accompanied by pizzicato strings. The sonata-form finale, by contrast, includes numerous disruptions and stylistic mixtures: outbursts on remote sonorities, and harmonically indirect retransition to the recapitulation, and even some four-part counterpoint in the development. These events might suggest that Haydn was violating his implied generic orientation of 'pure' entertainment, except that they are merely juxtaposed with other 'easy listening' passages, rather than being integrated into the movement as a later aesthetic would have demanded.
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)