Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Haydn- Symphony No. 101 'Clock'

The dozen symphonies Haydn wrote for Johann Peter Salomon, the impresario that coaxed Haydn to come to London, represent Haydn at his best. They are the culmination of many years of composition and Haydn made sure that they were the finest he could produce,  twelve masterpieces of the symphonic form that were written in London and Vienna over a five year period, for performance at Salomon's concerts.   Haydn made two visits to London, each time an extended stay that saw him not only giving concerts but meeting all kinds of people and being lavishly entertained at parties. He was a celebrity, the most famous composer in Europe at the time. He was a composer with a huge reputation that he was not aware of, due to his being isolated in the Esterhazy palace in the woods of Hungary. But his music had been known by many, and the English were particularly taken with his music.

Symphony 101 begins with a dark, brooding introduction that has a sense of foreboding. But it ends up being one of Haydn's little jokes, as the music suddenly lightens in mood with the playing of the main theme.  The second theme is stated first in the violins, then the winds.  The development section has the themes being transformed and varied. The recapitulation leads to a short coda that rounds out the movement.

The second movement is where the nickname 'clock' come from, due to the pizzicato strings and staccato bassoon accompaniment sounding like the ticking of a clock. Haydn changes keys, expands and contracts the music and keeps interest in the music by the return of the 'clock' accompaniment, but this time it is played by the flutes and bassoons. After some more 'ticking' the movement draws to a quiet close.

The third movement  is marked minuet,  but it is far from the graceful dance of the French court. Haydn has written a heavily accented German peasant dance that merrily stomps its way until the more laid back trio, but the stomping appears here and there in the trio as well. Finally the peasant's happy foot stomping silences the trio, the dance is repeated and clomps to the end.

The finale's two themes are stated in the beginning, repeated, and then are woven through a development section until there is a fugal section that uses the first theme. The fugue works its way through the entire orchestra, and the movement ends with the first theme, and a short coda.

1 comment:

  1. Belíssima execuçao ,a orquestra é magnifica fiquei emocionado.
    Obrigado pelo envio desta bela obra de Haydn....

    ReplyDelete

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