Sinfonien um 1780/81
Herausgeber: Heide Volckmar-Waschk und Stephen C. Fisher; Reihe I, Band 10; G. Henle Verlag München
Symphony No. 73 in D major ('La Chasse')
This, the latest symphony in this volume, most resembles Haydn's more familiar works from 1782 on. In the massive slow introduction the repeated wind band chords in quavers that accompany the slowly moving initial idea eventually lead to a discrete four note upbeat-downbeat motive, which 'takes over' during the final dominant pedal, ff then piano. The main Allegro theme begins with the identical motive, accompanied by an upbeat variant of the original wind quavers. In a densely argued thematische Arbeit of the sort associated with the contemporaneous String Quartets, op.33, these related motives dominate the entire movement, which thus grows out of its introduction more organically than any other in Haydn until the 'Oxford' Symphony of 1789. However, the Allegro theme begins tentatively: on the subdomin-ant, working round to the tonic only in its fourth bar; and in the violins alone, the full band not entering until the counterstatement. The result is a structural dynamism: the initial instability 'forces' the music ahead, by the time the full band states the tonic we are already in the transition to the second group and so forth. The consequences continue throughout, most obviously in the development, where Haydn's inimitable silences combine with remarkable harmonic reinterpretations of the three-note upbeat motive (C.F. Cramer, in a laudatory review from 1783, referred to 'difficulties and unexpected progressions that require trained and correct players, and cannot be entrusted merely to good luck'). In a Beethovenian stroke, the recapitulation enters not tentatively, but as a ff climax.
The Andante is based on Haydn's own Lied Gegenliebe, Hob.XXVIa:16, composed in the spring or summer of 1781 but not published until 1784. Except for the arrangement of the keyboard accompaniment for strings, the initial statement is a literal transcription, including the interpolations and postlude for keyboard alone.
The 'motivically' organised minuet resembles that of the String Quartet, op. 33 no. 6, in the same key. It is based on a theme in 1 + 1+2 rhythm, with a characteristic offbeat, lower-neighbour motive in the first two bars that seems derived from a short-short-long motive in the slow introduction(!).The retransition to the reprise lengthens the phrasing to 5+5, while in the reprise proper the chromatic lower neighbours are transferred into the bass, providing an even clearer reminiscence of the introduction. The trio is a duet for oboe and bassoon (the flute eventually joining in); the apparently regular eight-bar phrases are subdivided in unpredictable ways.
The finale is based on the overture to Haydn's La fedeltá premiata, premiered in February 1781; it included trumpets and timpani (omitted in the primary symphony dissemination) and had no repeat of the exposition, which Haydn added later in the autograph. A key character in the opera is Diana, goddess of the hunt; Haydn accordingly based his overture on the standard hunting 'topic' (fast 6/8 with predominantly triadic 'horn' motives, as in Mozart's 'Hunt' Quartet, K458 and Haydn's own 'Hunting' Chorus in The Seasons). Indeed, a theme for the winds (entering late in the first group, after a pause on the dominant) quotes a well-known traditional hunting call, used in various chasse compositions through the century; in hunting manuals it figures as I'ancienne Vue; that is, the first sighting of the stag.
For the rest, the movement is one of Haydn's most exhilarating: the relentless quaver motion and continual variety of 'topics' yield only occasionally to more relaxed harmonies and piano (still with the quavers underneath). At the end, when I'ancienne Vue returns as a sort of coda (it was withheld from the recapitulation), we expect a grandiose wind-up in the same style; what a surprise when, at the first cadence thereafter, the music suddenly becomes even softer (perden-dosi) and, following a subdominant colouring over a tonic pedal, expires like the stage in peace.
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)