Friday 23 November 2018

My favourite Haydn symphony

This symphony is a delight from the stormy beginning all through to the unique, lyrical end.

If you don't know the story of how No. 45 in F-sharp minor got its nickname of the 'Farewell' Symphony - make sure you watch the second part of the final movement (from about 21 minutes).

And especially from 22:30 when the orchestra and conductor very amusingly re-enact (with a couple of twists, because there would not then have been a conductor) what happened during the first performance!


Hrothgar said...

This is one of my favourites Haydn symphonies too. Others I enjoy include the "London" and the "Philosopher", but there are a lot to chose from. Undoubtably I have failed to listen to many of them half as much as I should have, and like many of them less than half as much as they deserve!

I'm coming more and more to appreciate his string quartets though (not a genre that used to interest me very much on the whole), and maybe actually to value them over the symphonies. Have you ever listened to them much? I think my favourites at the moment are several of the Op.20 works, though some of the others are not far behind!

Bruce Charlton said...

@ H - I have listened to a great deal of Haydn over the years: symphonies, chamber music, piano works, choral pieces. I nearly-always find it enjoyable and worthwhile; but it almost-never moves me deeply. For me, Haydn is Not an 'essential' composer. Ultimately, I presume this is due to the limitations of The Man - profundity in works can only come from a great spirit, and there are never many of those.