Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five Symphonies from Joseph Haydn

. . .  with something in common.

1) Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor - IV. Presto-Adagio

2) Symphony No. 60 in C major - IV., V., VI. Presto-Adagio-Prestissimo

3) Symphony No. 90 in C major - IV. Allegro assai

4) Symphony No. 93 in D major - II. Largo cantabile

5) Symphony No. 94 in G major - II. Andante


  1. Here's my logic, not sure if I'm on the right track. The 93rd and 94th both have unusual musical quirks that are supposed to show Haydn's sense of humour. So I read up on the others and found that they, too have something musically unusual. So that is one thing I guess they all have in common.

  2. You are correct sir!

    I didn't mean it to be so much of a quiz, but neither did I want simply to say, "Here are five musical jokes: laugh!"

    I delighted in discovering these musical jokes and still get a kick out of them.

  3. Ha! Maybe not a quiz, but challenge I couldn't resist.

    I would love to have been able to meet a lot of great composers, especially Beethoven and Wagner and Bach to see if they are really they way we think of them. But I've also thought it would be fun to meet Haydn because he seems like he must have been a laid back, irreverent, fun sort of person.

    If you're ever up for a really short post you could do one on "Humour in Wagner's Ring."

  4. "If you're ever up for a really short post you could do one on 'Humour in Wagner's Ring.'" Ha ha ha!

    I know what you mean about Haydn in particular and I agree. I'm not aware of any classic/definitive biography of Haydn. . . or in fact any one at all, even amongst Robbins Landon's work. Are you?

    A slightly related anecdote from Michael Steen's "The Great Composers" p. 126:

    "Oxford University conferred a Doctorate on Haydn. He attended the Handel commemoration concert, at which the massed choir and orchestra were raked so steeply that one of the performers fell, and disappeared into a double bass with only his legs protruding."

  5. I'm not aware of a Haydn bio either. The only anecdote I've heard about him is this quote: "God has given me a cheerful heart. He will forgive me for serving him cheerfully."

    Makes me wonder if there are more jokes hidden here and there than we know of!