B flat major
Herausgeber: Sonja Gerlach und Sterling E. Murray; Reihe I, Band 11; G. Henle Verlag München
Hob.I:77 Symphony in B-Flat Major
The second of the symphonies 76-78 composed for a trip to England that never came to fruition, the B-flat major symphony is undoubtedly the most compositionally distinguished of the triptych. The common characteristic of three of its four movements are the contrapuntal imitations Haydn uses as his working principle. The two themes of the first movement are derived from the same fundamental rhythm. The development begins with the working of the principal theme; the modulating sequences are based on a longer contrapuntal pattern in which the “primary motif” is overlapped “with itself” in a stretto. An identical figure beginning with the secondary theme is broken off prematurely in order to make room for the reprise. The interrupted development is then resumed in the reprise at the appropriate place and continued. In the second movement, an intimate piece with a muted string sound and contrasting developmental episodes, imitative passages are found at the locations of the returning principal theme. As is generally the case with Haydn, the minuet is a particular treasure, a musical miniature in the middle of a splendid symphony. By playing with accents - first on the loud, then on the soft part of the bar – Haydn suspends the laws of “gravity” of ¾ time with the greatest of ease and performs the awkward dance of a small marionette before an amused audience. Though in the character of a rondo-kehraus (a “sweep out dance” concluding the end of a season), the final movement is arranged in the form of a sonata movement. To this extent it resumes the cadences of the opening movement (thus bringing it full circle), as here, as well, the development over considerable stretches is organised on the basis of a fugato over the primary motif.
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
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"