Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 49 'La Passione'

Joseph Haydn ( 1732 - 1809 ) was a innovator in musical form of his time. He helped to codify the forms of the symphony and string quartet especially.  The forerunner of the symphony was the Opera Sinfonia also known as Italian Overture. These works were in three sections with the temp scheme of fast-slow-fast. Many symphonies of the 18th century followed this scheme. C.P.E. Bach and Johann Christian Bach composed their symphonies in this form as did Mozart and Haydn in their earlier symphonies.

Mozart and Haydn both added a fourth movement to their symphonies, another fast movement, thus making the scheme fast-slow-fast-fast.  La Passione (The Passion) symphony of Haydn however, does not follow this pattern but follows the older form of the Sonata da chiesa or Church sonata that had the tempo scheme of slow-fast-slow-fast. It was the last time Haydn used this form for any of his symphonies.

The symphony was written in 1768 during Haydn's Sturm und Drang  (Storm and Stress) period.  All the movements are in F minor except for the Trio of the Menuett (3rd movement) which is in F Major. The symphony is in four movements:
  1. Adagio
  2. Allegro di molto
  3. Menuet & Trio
  4. Presto
Haydn's Symphony No. 49 'La Passione' :


  1. Hi, I think audience on youtube would appreciate if you mentioned the conductor / orchestra for this post.

    1. The performers on the youTube video are Orchestra of St. John's, Smith Square, London - John Lubbock, conductor. I have included the information on youTube. Thanks!

  2. Searching for a piano reduction of the third movement, Minuet & Trio. Great music from a master!