Tuesday, 15 July 2008

129. Joseph Haydn - Symphony no. 45 "Farewell" (1772)


Title: Symphony No45 in F sharp minor (Farewell, Symphony No46 in B, Symphony No47 in G
Performer: The Hanover Band
Director: Roy Goodman
Year: 1990
Length: 29 minutes


Haydn is the daddy of the Symphony, and we have had three of his already, and this one makes the fourth, it is definitely an interesting one, but it also seems to live more of its fame than its inherent merits.

The Symphony itself is pretty good Haydn, but not truly spectacular, it does however have some very original moments, the Menuet is particularly good as is the Finale which has the players slowly retiring until only two violins can be hears in what is a beautiful, if extremely anti-climatic ending to the Symphony.

The story as to why this happens in the final movement is a great one (I'll add it in the Trivia), making a little myth about the symphony itself. The Adagio is a bit to pianissimo for my taste although it is lovely, I have to crank up my speakers to hear it and it distorts a bit... Not Haydn's fault, crappy speakers fault.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

It was written for Haydn's patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, while he, Haydn and the court orchestra were at the Prince's summer palace in Eszterhaza. The stay there had been longer than expected, and most of the musicians had been forced to leave their wives back at home in Eisenstadt, so in the last movement of the symphony, Haydn subtly hinted to his patron that perhaps he might like to allow the musicians to return home: during the final adagio each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left (played by Haydn himself and the concertmaster, Alois Luigi Tomasini). Esterházy seems to have understood the message: the court returned to Eisenstadt the day following the performance.

Last Movement on four acoustic guitars, couldn't find a more conservative version of it, there is one by a bunch of kids, but kids play like crap:

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