B flat major
Sinfonien um 1775/76
Herausgeber: Sonja Gerlach und Wolfgang Stockmeier; Reihe I, Band 8; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 66 in B flat major
This symphony opens with a variant of the beginning of the overture Hob.Ia:7 that is, Symphony No. 53, finale 'B'; however, the resemblance is only skin-deep, for the movement soon goes its own way. The tone is 'forward' throughout; as so often in Haydn, contrast is embedded in the flow of the music rather than given prominence for its own sake. Thus the second group at first continues loud and four-square; the brief 'second theme' does not allow the energy to slacken; and the only sustained piano is the retransition itself, on an unstable chord that yields to the orthodox dominant only at the last minute.
The Adagio is in 3/4 time, as in No. 61; unlike the latter, its motifs are short-breathed and additive rather than hymn-like, and soon develop into semiquavers then triplet semiquavers. The minuet is based on a short dotted motif, about which the only thing that can be predicted is that it will develop in an unpredictable manner; the return to the main theme is another characteristic joke. The trio begins off the tonic, engendering quiet subtleties of harmony and phrasing.
The rondo finale, Scherzando e presto, is the first in this volume to sound like a late Haydn rondo, with a main theme Tovey would have called 'kittenish', based on five-bar phrases. But counterpoint is hinted at in its middle phrase, and counterpoint erupts for real in the first episode, which combines second-group and developmental functions. After a varied reprise, the next episode pretends to be in the relative minor (the submediant), but soon leads to the subdominant and an even more contrapuntal episode. The next reprise is extended by various devices, leading eventually to the final thematic statement. This is less than subtle, with its fortissimo stamping-about, crude hocketing and concluding horse-laugh; it would be difficult to claim here that art triumphs over entertainment.
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)
Hob.I:22 "Der Philosoph"
Hob.I:48 "Maria Theresia"
Hob.I:64 "Tempora mutantur"
Hob.I:63 "La Roxelane"
Hob.I:85 "La Reine"
Hob.I:83 "La Poule"