96th Symphony (Haydn)

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The Symphony No. 96 in D major was composed by Joseph Haydn in 1791. The work is one of the famous “London Symphonies” and bears the nickname “The Miracle”, which was not by Haydn.


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

The Symphony No. 96 in D major was composed by Haydn in 1791 as part of his first trip to London and is probably the first of the “London Symphonies” in chronological order. It was premiered on March 11, 1791 in London in the “Hanover Square Rooms” as the opening of the second half of the concert evening, while in the first half a. a. Haydn's Symphony No. 92 , which was not specially composed for the London concert series, was played.

Haydn later told his friend Luigia Polzelli about the premiere, which was a great success: “In Mr. Salomon's first concert I caused a sensation with a new symphony, of which the Adagio had to be repeated; this has never happened in London, imagine what a fuss it was to hear something like that from an English mouth. ”(Original in Italian)

The nickname "The Miracle" (originally in English: "The Miracle") came about through a tradition reported by Albert Dies (1810):

“When Haydn appeared in the orchestra and sat down at the pianoforte to conduct a symphony himself, the curious listeners on the ground floor left their seats and pressed against the orchestra, intending to see the famous Haydn better up close. The seats in the middle of the ground floor became empty as a result, and no sooner were they empty than the great chandelier fell down, smashed, and put the numerous assembly in the greatest dismay. As soon as the first moments of horror were over and those who had been pushed ahead could think of the danger from which they had happily escaped, find words and come to it, several people expressed their state of mind loud enough with the word 'Miracle! Miracle 'out. Haydn himself was deeply touched and thanked the benevolent Providence, which made it happen that he had to serve in a certain way as a cause or tool to save the lives of at least thirty people. Only a few listeners had received minor bruises.
I have heard this event narrated in various ways and almost always with the addition that in London the symphony had been given the flattering name: 'The Miracle'. It may be that this is the case, but when I wanted to ask Haydn about it, he said: 'I don't know anything about that.' "

This “miracle” was initially attributed to Symphony No. 96, but it probably happened during the repetition of the Finale of Symphony No. 102.

The work is valued differently in literature:

  • Haydn himself in a letter to Marianne von Genzinger: "(...) to hold a rehearsal of both symphonies because they are very delicate, especially the last piece in D in which I recommend the smallest piano and with a very fast tempo."
  • “The symphony itself is one of the weaker ones. If it deserves a name, one could call it the 'perpetual motion machine' from the last sentence. Seventy years before Johann Strauss , in this rondo finale, Haydn attempted and carried out 'never to let a melody stop'. "
  • “Your Allegro is very spirited; her Andante, a set of variations that almost becomes a concerto for two violins; her minuet amiable and full of sweetness; the finale, lively and spirited, dismisses the listener with a smile of well-being. "
  • "Even if The Miracle means another miracle, this Symphony 96 always remains a miracle of compositional art and sophistication."

To the music

Instrumentation: two flutes , two oboes , two bassoons , two horns in D, two trumpets in D, timpani , violin I a. II, viola , violoncello , double bass . Numerous sources such as concert announcements, press reports and memoirs prove that Haydn conducted the symphonies of his first stay in London from the harpsichord (“ harpsichord ”) or the pianoforte or “presided”, as Burney put it (“ Haydn himself presided at the piano -forte ”). According to the performance practice at the time, this is an indication of the original use of a keyboard instrument (harpsichord or fortepiano) as a non-notated continuo instrument in the “London Symphonies”.

Performance time: approx. 25 minutes.

With the terms of the sonata form used here, it should be noted that this scheme was designed in the first half of the 19th century (see there) and can therefore only be transferred to Symphony No. 96 with restrictions. - The description and structure of the sentences given here is to be understood as a suggestion. Depending on the point of view, other delimitations and interpretations are also possible.

First movement: Adagio - Allegro

Adagio : D major, 3/4 time, bars 1–17

Opening triad

The symphony opens forte in a signal-like D major triad downwards, the strings respond to the piano in an ornate triad ascent, followed by a staccato transition bar that leads to the sustained repetition of the opening figure in a minor variant and the introduction to a throbbing tone repetition motif with a plaintive Oboe figure finished. The introduction is structured relatively simply or consists of several "standard phrases". Various evaluations can be found in the literature: While Renate Ulm considers that at this very important opening Haydn wanted to reduce the audience's high expectations to the point of disappointment with the “not particularly stimulating entry”, and then in the following Allegro to win back the admiration of the audience, says Harold Haslmayr, Haydn placed the symphony at the beginning of the second half of the concert evening in order to "not withhold the wonderful introduction (...) even for those notoriously late."

Despite its relative simplicity, the introduction contains essential building blocks for the remaining movements (similar to Symphony No. 102), in particular the tone repetition motif and the opening triad.

Allegro : D major, 3/4 time, time 18–203

Beginning of the Allegro

The movement begins piano with an accompanying carpet in staccato, which gets its characteristic timbre from the parallel guidance of the 2nd violin, viola and bassoon (motif c in the graphic, can be derived from the staccato motif in the introduction). The first theme (main theme) begins on this carpet with three repeated eighth notes, which lead to a full-time tone (also A) (motif a in the graphic). Another prelude leads to an ascending eighth-note figure (motif b in the graphic), which ends the first half of the theme with a triple tone repetition on E. The second half (postscript) of the topic is structured symmetrically, so that overall a periodic structure results. In bar 25, the theme leads into the first Forte- Tutti block, which is loosened up with syncope . From bar 32, the theme is repeated (with opposing voices from the oboe), the subsequent tutti block, in addition to its virtuoso sixteenth-notes, is particularly noticeable through the emphasis on the tone repetition motif: from bar 43 in fanfare-like marching rhythm with sixteenth notes, from bar 54 in even Eighths. Haydn modulates all the way to E major, but lets the flow stop abruptly here (bar 57), leads with a hesitant unison movement, interrupted by pauses, for strings in staccato over an accentuated G major seventh chord back to the tonic in D major, to establish the dominant A major shortly afterwards in the final group (from bar 71) . The final group first brings the head back from the main theme and then ends the exposition with a repeated sequence of the tone repetition motif. The exposition ends in measure 83 and is repeated.

The implementation varies with the tone repetition abruptly after F-sharp major, the dominant table looks to the next appearance of the main theme in the bass in B minor. Haydn now leads over several leads (from motif b) in the piano to C major, in which the theme is introduced and spun out from bar 104 in the forte. In bar 117 a new motif appears in the subdominant G major, which is based on a G major chord downwards (possibly derived from the opening triad of the Adagio). An increase with the fanfare-like tone repetition motif leads to fortissimo, where the action surprisingly breaks off in B minor with a general pause of two bars. The following appearance of the main theme is a sham, because it is in the subdominant G major. Sixteenth runs in the forte finally lead to the “correct” recapitulation in the tonic in D major (from bar 154).

The recapitulation is varied compared to the exposition: the theme is not repeated, instead the forte-tutti block has now been expanded and is in fortissimo. The final group is also extended and, as the last surprise, after the fanfare motif repeated three times, contains an effective, short outbreak in D minor in fortissimo. Development and recapitulation are also repeated (but for the last time in a first movement of Haydn's symphonies).

Second movement: Andante

G major, 6/8 time, 89 bars

The Andante is structured as a three-part (variation) movement (ABA´) with a middle part in minor. The main part is tonally characterized by the balance between strings and woodwinds.

  • A part (bars 1–25, G major): The four-bar, gallant, delicate theme is first introduced by the strings with the leading violin. It is characterized by an upbeat, broken chord (sixteenth note triplet), which can be thought of as derived from the opening triad of the introduction. The theme is repeated once with pastoral splashes of color in the woodwinds (tone repeater!). - In bar 9, a “booming” forte-tutti starts unexpectedly, in which the thematic material is spun on. In addition to the triad motif, the tone repetition motif is also worked out from the introduction - both conspicuously in unison at the beginning. Serious octave jumps are followed by a brief clouding of the minor key (bars 18/19), which leads to a repetition of the theme with a tone repetition motif in the horn / bassoon over several hesitant attempts on the 1st violin.
  • B part (bars 26–45, G minor): the middle part in G minor begins forte with staggered use of the instruments (initially without bass), so that a multi-part soundscape develops. In bar 34, with a turn to B flat major, a brief lightening begins, which, however, is brought back to G minor with a "rumble" in the bass.
  • A 'part, bars 46–89: The theme is performed again by the strings, with the flute supporting the 1st violin in the voice guidance. This is followed by the forte-tutti part corresponding to bar 9, which is followed by the theme, now as a variant with continuous sixteenth-note triplets. The theme leads through throbbing tone repetitions in the horn to an sixth fourth chord. This is the signal for the two violins to begin a solo cadenza, where both instruments vary over the theme in flowing triplet movements. At the end the flutes and oboes emerge as soloists, at the end also with the tone repetition motif. A jam chord that builds up is picked up by the solo instruments - as in a solo concert - and concluded with a trill. It is possible that Haydn wanted to accommodate the London taste, which at that time was (still) influenced by the Concerto grosso of the Baroque, and / or pay tribute to the two leaders of the 1st and 2nd violins. After the tried and tested triplet movement of the 1st violin, the movement is breathtaking in pianissimo.

Third movement: Menuet. Allegretto

D major, 3/4 time, with trio 84 bars

The main part of the minuet begins as a strong, determined forte-tutti with a bulging trill and a virtuoso upward run, then alternates with a hesitant, quiet piano passage. In the tutti blocks, the tone repetition (e.g. measure 4, measure 21 and, very conspicuously, from measure 40) and possibly also the triad melody (e.g. measure 2) can be thought of as derived from the corresponding motifs in the introduction.

The trio is also in D major and is characterized by its landler-like oboe solo over waltz-like string accompaniment. At the beginning of the middle section, the solo bassoon continues the melody, only to return to the oboe after a short, energetic forte unison passage. A striking figure on the oboe in bars 77 to 80.

The three-measure takes a back seat in the minuet (e.g. in the piano passage from measure 5), but is emphasized all the more in the trio.

Fourth movement: Finale. Vivace (assai)

D major, 2/4 time, 239 bars

The movement is almost entirely characterized by the elements of the main theme, in particular its two-eighth prelude and the continuous movement.

  • A-part bars 1–48: Presentation of the eight-bar main melody in the string piano. The elegant, scurrying theme is repeated and then - still in the piano - merges into a short passage in D minor. After energetically imitating forte unison, the 1st violin works its way back chromatically to the major. The theme is now presented again - supported by the flute - and ended with an extended final turn. This second part is also repeated. The A section is thus structured in three parts. The upbeat beginning of the theme can be thought of as derived from the opening triad of the symphony.
  • B-part bars 48-102, D minor: The beginning of the minor middle part is characterized by the upbeat head of the main theme. Haydn then changes with accented chord strokes and sixteenth-note grinders, restless tone repetitions, runs and the topic from C major to F major and finally to A major, which has a dominant effect on the following D major.
  • C'-part, bars 103–149: When the major is reached, the dark mood of the middle section has evaporated and picks up on the fast and cheerful character from the beginning of the sentence with the main theme. A forte section follows like a block with staggered use of the instruments, syncopation and a dissonance that builds up with tone repetitions, which merges into the dominant A major.
  • A 'part bar 150–186: corresponds to the A part.
  • D-part bar 187–239: The final part first leads to an A major seventh chord with a fermata as a calm pole. In the “final storm” that follows, Haydn lets the main theme appear again in addition to the accented chords with a grinder from the B section: offset in the woodwinds, above an organ point on D and finally in the winds unison.

The movement in which Haydn “does not let a melody end” is significantly shorter in length than the first movement and is therefore somewhat reminiscent of the “Kehraus” closing movements of earlier symphonies. Perhaps for this reason, Haydn also reworked the final movement of Symphony No. 93 .

Individual references, comments

  1. a b c d Renate Ulm: Symphony in D major, Hob I: 96 (The Miracle). In: Renate Ulm (Ed.): Haydn's London Symphonies. Origin - interpretation - effect. Joint edition by Bärenreiter Verlag and Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-7618-1823-7 , pages 41–47
  2. ^ Anton Gabmayer: Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 92 in G major, Hob.I: 92 "Oxford" accompanying text for the concert on September 10, 2009 at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, http://www.haydn107.com/index.php ? id = 32 as of November 7, 2009
  3. Haydn probably meant the middle movement (Andante) and not the introduction
  4. ^ A b Albert Christoph Dies: Biographical news from Joseph Haydn. Based on oral accounts of the same, designed and edited by Albert Christoph Dies, landscape painter. Camesinaische Buchhandlung, Vienna 1810. Re-edited by Horst Seeger with a foreword and notes. Reprinted by Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel, without a year (approx. 1950), pages 95–96
  5. This does not indicate which one it is
  6. ^ Michael Walter: Haydn's symphonies. A musical factory guide. CH Beck-Verlag, Munich 2007, 128 pages, ISBN 978-3-406-44813-3
  7. Nos. 95 and 96 are meant
  8. meaning the 4th sentence of No. 96
  9. ^ Letter to Marianne von Genzinger on November 17, 1791, quoted in Ulm (2007)
  10. ^ A b Heinrich Eduard Jacob: Joseph Haydn. His art, his time, his fame. Christian Wegner Verlag, Hamburg 1952: p. 220
  11. ^ Kurt Pahlen: Symphony of the world. Schweizer Verlagshaus AG, Zurich 1978 (preface from 1966), p. 164
  12. ^ In German translation by HC Robbins Landon: Joseph Haydn - his life in pictures and documents . Verlag Fritz Molden, Vienna et al., 1981, p. 124: "Haydn himself presided over the piano-forte."
  13. HC Robbins Landon, David Wyn Jones: Haydn: his life and music , Thames and Hudson, London 1988m pp. 232-234.
  14. Not noted, d. H. Unnumbered continuo was relatively common; even for some of JS Bach's cantatas , unnumbered continuo basses have been preserved - despite the high harmonic complexity of Bach's music.
  15. On the use of the harpsichord as an orchestral and continuo instrument around 1802, Koch writes in his Musikalischen Lexicon , Frankfurt 1802 , under the heading “wing, clavicimbel” (pp. 586–588; wing = harpsichord): “ […] The other genres of these Clavierart, namely the spinet and the clavicytherium, have fallen completely out of use; The grand piano is still used in most of the large orchestras, partly to support the singer with the recitative, partly and mainly to fill in the harmony by means of the figured bass ... Its strong, penetrating tone, however, makes it the fulfillment of the full-voiced music All very clever; therefore he will probably compete in major opera houses and bey numerous occupation of votes the rank of very useful orchestral instrument until another instrument of equal strength, but more mildness or flexibility of the sound is invented which to lecture the basso well is sent. […] In clay pieces according to the taste of the time, especially with a weak cast of the voices, […] one has begun for some time now to swap the grand piano with the weaker, but softer fortepiano . "
  16. James Webster takes the London symphonies from his idea that Haydn did not use a harpsichord (or other keyboard instrument, especially fortepiano) for continuo playing (“ And, of course, the argument refers exclusively to pre-London symphonies and performances outside England "; In: James Webster: On the Absence of Keyboard Continuo in Haydn's Symphonies. In: Early Music Volume 18 No. 4, 1990, pp. 599-608, here: p. 600).
  17. Harald Haslmayr: Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D major, Hob.I: 96 “The Miracle” accompanying text for the concert on September 11, 2009 at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, http://www.haydn107.com/index. php? id = 32 , as of November 7, 2009.
  18. ↑ In the broader sense, one could also imagine this motif derived from the separate movement from bar 9
  19. a b c Ludwig Finscher: Joseph Haydn and his time. Laaber-Verlag, Laaber 2000, ISBN 3-921518-94-6 , p. 361 ff.
  20. ^ A b Rainer Pöllmann: Symphony in D major No. 96. In: Attila Csampai & Dietmar Holland (eds.): The concert guide. Orchestral music from 1700 to the present day. Rowohlt-Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1987, ISBN 3-8052-0450-7 , pp. 116-117
  21. similar to the solo appearance of the harpsichord in the final movement of Symphony No. 98; or the Sinfonia concertante (No. 105)
  22. In a broader sense, possibly also the staccato figures or the offset movement similar to motif b from the first movement
  23. see No. 93 in the letter to Ms. von Genzinger dated March 2, 1791

Web links, notes

See also