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View Poll Results: Your Favourite Groups of Symphonies!

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  • Symphonies 1 - 10

    7 10.61%
  • Symphonies 11 - 20

    5 7.58%
  • Symphonies 21 - 30

    6 9.09%
  • Symphonies 31 - 40

    10 15.15%
  • Symphonies 41 - 50

    25 37.88%
  • Symphonies 51 - 60

    7 10.61%
  • Symphonies 61 - 70

    5 7.58%
  • Symphonies 71 - 81

    4 6.06%
  • Symphonies 82 - 87 ("Paris")

    19 28.79%
  • Symphonies 88 - 92

    12 18.18%
  • Symphonies 93 - 98 ("London I")

    22 33.33%
  • Symphonies 99 - 104 ("London II")

    31 46.97%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Haydn's Symphonies: Overview

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Default Haydn's Symphonies: Overview

    This is a thread for general discussion of Haydn's symphonies, especially in relation to the series of polls carried out recently here on TC. The links are listed below. If you would like to, do please follow the links to vote and comment in them if you haven't already.

    Symphonies:
    1-10: Haydn Symphony Series Part 1: 1-10
    11-20: Haydn Symphony Series Part 2: 11-20
    21-30, A&B: Haydn Symphony Series Part 3: 21-30, A&B
    31-40: Haydn Symphony Series Part 4: 31-40
    41-50: Haydn Symphony Series Part 5: 41-50
    51-60: Haydn Symphony Series Part 6: 51-60
    61-70: Haydn Symphony Series Part 7: 61-70
    71-81: Haydn Symphony Series Part 8: 71-81
    82-87: Haydn Symphony Series Part 9: 82-87 - "Paris"
    88-92: Haydn Symphony Series Part 10: 88-92
    93-98: Haydn Symphony Series Part 11: 93-98 - "London I"
    99-104: Haydn Symphony Series Part 12: 99-104 - "London II"

    Note: I have included a poll in this thread to vote for your favourite groups of Haydn's symphonies, largely defined by the decade system used for the threads. Please vote for several, otherwise almost all the votes will be for the same ones. (This might be the case anyway).

    One of the purposes of this series I suggested when I created the first thread some time ago was to provide recommendations to those who are relatively unfamiliar with Haydn's output, or wish to explore it further, but find the sheer numbers of them daunting. The following symphonies seem to be the most liked so far, with particularly popular ones in bold:

    6, 7, 8, 22, 26, 39, 45, 49, 53, 73, 82, 83, 88, 92, 94, 96, 100, 103, 104

    Given noticeable different numbers of voters in the various polls, these are in some sense rather arbitrary, but they do seem to reflect what one would expect in its general outline.

    To anyone relatively unfamiliar with these works, I would emphasise that there is a vast stylistic difference in these works: to compare symphony 1 with 45 or 104 would make very little musical sense, for example - much less than Beethoven's 1st and 9th. To think them all the same as the London symphonies (or even Paris symphonies) would be to misjudge them profoundly. It might be worth particularly looking at some of the finest works of the 40's to observe just a few of the huge differences that exist across the spectrum. I would also plead that many of these, and certainly any of the bold symphonies above (and of course below ) deserve more than one hearing before being judged. In much the same way as it would be a mistake to dismiss a Mahler symphony after only hearing it once, for example.

    To correct some errors made in the above list (because no list can be perfect ), I would especially like to add, in the spirit of recommendation, some of my favourites here at the end: 27, 43, 44, 99.
    Last edited by Ramako; Mar-20-2013 at 23:18.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramako View Post
    To anyone fairly unfamiliar with these works, I would emphasise that there is a vast stylistic difference in these works: to compare symphony 1 with 45 or 104 would make very little musical sense, for example - much less than Beethoven's 1st and 9th. To think them all the same as the London symphonies (or even Paris symphonies) would be to misjudge them profoundly. It might be worth particularly looking at some of the finest works of the 40's to observe just a few of the huge differences that exist across the spectrum. I would also plead that many of these, and certainly any of the bold symphonies above (and of course below ) deserve more than one hearing before being judged. In much the same way as it would be a mistake to dismiss a Mahler symphony after only hearing it once, for example. There is an increasing tendency to view Haydn as a "musician's musician", which is quite ironic when one considers that he was the most popular composer of all during his own lifetime.
    Ramako, I find them rewarding as a complete cycle. Each new symphony that I play is familiar in that his style slowly developed, and yet fresh, because I have not previously heard the work.

    If I go a day or two without listening to a Haydn symphony, I find that I get withdrawal effects.

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hayd View Post
    Ramako, I find them rewarding as a complete cycle. Each new symphony that I play is familiar in that his style slowly developed, and yet fresh, because I have not previously heard the work.

    If I go a day or two without listening to a Haydn symphony, I find that I get withdrawal effects.
    I agree entirely - I have found listening to them all has given me a new perspective even on the ones most familiar to me - but still not everyone will want to commit the time to it...

  6. #4
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    The Haydn Symphony project was too massive an undertaking for me, but this single poll is doable. I chose the last symphonies. They are the ones I am most familiar with and the closest to Beethoven in style (or vice versa). The "Military" No. 100 in particular is among my favorites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramako View Post
    I agree entirely - I have found listening to them all has given me a new perspective even on the ones most familiar to me - but still not everyone will want to commit the time to it...
    True, around 100 symphonies, played in my case about twice each on average, is quite a bit of listening time. Maybe 80 hours in total.

    Sometimes I worry about what I'll do when I complete the cycle. Then again, there is the string quartets, concertos, piano trios & sonatas, oratorios, operas .....

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  10. #6
    Senior Member Feathers's Avatar
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    I realized that the ones I voted for (31-40, 41-50, and Paris) were the first symphonies I had heard from Haydn. It seems as if my preference for Papa Haydn's symphonies depends heavily on how long I've known the symphonies (and I mean this relatively, since I'm still quite young and actually haven't known them for that many years). The longer I've chewed them, the tastier they are, especially when I come back to a familiar Haydn symphony after several Haydn-less days.

    Also, Ramako, 43 and 44 are two of my favourites too. I was a little disappointed to see that they weren't in the first list, so good thing you mentioned them at the bottom!

    I'm actually not too familiar with the London symphonies, but they don't need my vote because they'll get plenty of votes anyway.

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    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
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    Whoa! Ramako, this is the capstone of the massive project to explore all of these glorious masterpieces.

    It was a joy to review them all chronologically, and I definitely think that we should do the same with the string quartets, piano sonatas, piano trios, and masses + oratorios.

    My Haydn obsession has rekindled. I spent 18 or 19 months devoted only to Haydn in 2008-2009. Those were happy months indeed. I have to agree with the sentiment that Haydn withdrawal is a dreadful malady indeed! Fortunately, we don't have to bear those effects. Haydn is always there for us.

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    Over the years I’ve listened to a good cross-section of the symphonies and I personally find the earlier ones more interesting, they tend to be musically more quirky and less predicable.
    The London symphonies are great but I find them more formal, and at times the four movement structures a bit regimented.
    And I’m not just talking about the Military Symphony

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    51-60

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    Senior Member neoshredder's Avatar
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    31-40 based on a few of my favorites on the Sturm und Drang Cd come from that period. Quirky and unpredictable fits that period.

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  19. #11
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neoshredder View Post
    31-40 based on a few of my favorites on the Sturm und Drang Cd come from that period. Quirky and unpredictable fits that period.
    You are not alone - this poll has certainly taught me not to pre-judge matters! I expected it much more biased towards the London symphonies, and many of the rest getting very little attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by hayd View Post
    Sometimes I worry about what I'll do when I complete the cycle. Then again, there is the string quartets, concertos, piano trios & sonatas, oratorios, operas .....
    Quote Originally Posted by Novelette View Post
    It was a joy to review them all chronologically, and I definitely think that we should do the same with the string quartets, piano sonatas, piano trios, and masses + oratorios.
    Yes, I hope to do another series on the string quartets soon!

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    6 - 8, signs of great things to come. Sturm & Drang, his most energetic, emotional series. 82 - 104, pure genius varietal, what a roll to the end!

    Some favorite recs...

    Attachment 15141Attachment 15142Attachment 15143Attachment 15144Attachment 15145

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  23. #13
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Just purchased ConcertGebouw/Davis London Symphonies Vol 2. Love the Military and Clock. I think Haydn's general inclination is to compose music to skip to.

    Which of the rest of his symphonies should I tackle next - there's a lot of them!?
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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  25. #14
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    Just purchased ConcertGebouw/Davis London Symphonies Vol 2. Love the Military and Clock. I think Haydn's general inclination is to compose music to skip to.

    Which of the rest of his symphonies should I tackle next - there's a lot of them!?
    This is just one of the things these threads are set up for! If you browse through the linked threads, you should be able to find some of the symphonies which are generally liked. The OP summarises the most popular.

    Personally I would recommend getting vol. 1 of the London symphonies. Not quite up to the standard of vol. 2, but very close with some Haydn 'unmissables' like the Suprise symphony.

    In terms of recordings I got the complete Adam Fischer set so I am ignorant for many of them. However, just in terms of the numbers to be looking out for, getting the Paris symphonies is a good move.

    If you want a very different kind of Haydn then look earlier for the Sturm und Drang. It might be best to look at these straight after the London symphonies as they will be more of a change than the Paris symphonies, which are much more similar. Usually these revolve around 45, the most popular because of the finale, but it's good to get some others as well. It's worth getting some of the other minor key ones such as 26, 39, 44 or 49 but also some of the major key ones, such as 42, 43, 48, 51 and others, are not to be ignored.

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  27. #15
    Senior Member presto's Avatar
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    Talking of Haydn Symphonies I’ve always found it unfortunate that named symphonies get recorded much more than the one’s that don’t have nicknames.
    Seems a bit unfair!

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