Greetings fair readers.  A slightly different format for the DWR classical music interlude.  Its Haydn, and all four movements in the same post.  Commentary from wikipedia appears below.  Enjoy.


First movement

Haydn distinguishes each section of the sonata form in this movement by use of strong contrasts of stability and instability. Before revealing the first theme of the symphony, Haydn opens this movement with a slow introduction that begins in the tonic G major and modulates through to the parallel minor and then to the dominant. He begins the first theme in the tonic but on a dominant seventh chord. This is very unusual of symphonies of the time but it reflects an aspect of Haydn’s unique compositional characteristics. Because the rest of the Oxford will reflect many of the ideas presented in this first theme, this symphony has been termed monothematic.

Following the first theme is the transition, which allows Haydn to modulate to the dominant. The second theme begins with the opening idea of the movement, but in the dominant key. As this theme progresses it enters a section of minor-mode before entering into the closing theme. Haydn stays in the dominant key through the closing of the first movement. In the development section, Haydn borrows themes from the exposition, then “develops” and embellishes them. He adds sections of subject change and digression from the original theme as well as moments of rest or silence. These qualities of the development are all very characteristic of Haydn. Furthermore, he draws upon the older style of intricate counterpoint to enhance the galante style of the symphony.

Second movement

The second movement is in ternary form with a slow and song-like melody. Haydn, however, adds his own uniqueness to this movement by adding an intense middle section in minor. This minor interlude is based on a motive from the opening section. A shortened return of the major section precedes a section of the movement that features the winds.[3]

Third movement

Haydn composes the third movement in ABA form with a minuet and trio. Both the minuet and trio are in binary form with repeats. In order to create a more entertaining movement for the listener, Haydn composes the minuet with phrases of six measures as opposed to the normal four-measure phrase and adds syncopations and stops. All of these qualities were found to be humorous by the audiences of Haydn’s time because they were so unusual.

Fourth movement

Haydn’s final movement of the Oxford Symphony is centered on a feeling of tension and release. In order to convey this quality to the listener, Haydn writes this sonata form movement slightly faster and shorter than the first movement of the symphony to create a climactic ending.