Wednesday, 8 October 2008

172. Joseph Haydn - Symphony no. 101, "Clock" (1794)


Title: The 12 "London" Symphonies
Performers: London Philharmonic
Director: Eugen Jochum
Year: 1973
Length: 28 minutes


Mozart is dead but Haydn is fortunately still around to keep us all in a cheery mood. After the famous musical joke of the "Surprise" symphony he has another little play with the second movement having a "tic-toc" theme going all the way through it.

The Symphony does not live only of its namesake "clock", however, in fact there is plenty to love here. The first movement starts with a beautifully creepy adagio only to erupt into complete exuberance in one of the greatest transitions in any Haydn Symphony.

Haydn is again a composer full of lightness and joy, and fortunately he is still gonna be alive for a while so we can enjoy plenty more of his stuff... although there is only one more symphony by him on the list. The performance is flawless as would be expected with a real verve, making even the slow movement totally whimsical.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The work was premiered on 3 March, 1794, in the Hanover Square Rooms, as part of a concert series featuring Haydn's work organized by his colleague and friend Johann Peter Salomon; a second performance took place a week later.

As was generally true for the London symphonies, the response of the audience was very enthusiastic. The Morning Chronicle reported:

As usual the most delicious part of the entertainment was a new grand Overture [that is, symphony] by HAYDN; the inexhaustible, the wonderful, the sublime HAYDN! The first two movements were encored; and the character that pervaded the whole composition was heartfelt joy. Ever new Overture he writes, we fear, till it is heard, he can only repeat himself; and we are every time mistaken.

Some clocks:

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