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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A continuation of the Saturday Symphonies Tradition:

Welcome to another weekend of symphonic listening!

For your listening pleasure this weekend:

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Symphony no. 48 "Maria Theresia"

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Menuet: Allegretto; Trio
IV. Finale: Allegro

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Post what recording you are going to listen to giving details of Orchestra / Conductor / Chorus / Soloists etc - Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's definitely time for another Haydn symphony as it's been too long. We have the symphony no. 48 "Maria Theresia," which was supposedly composed in honor of a visit from the empress. A score dates the piece from 1769 though some scholars date the work to 1773 on her visit at that time. Whatever the date this is an inspired work by Haydn with those aggressive fanfare horns, plaintive slow movement, sombre and ominous trio of the menuet and whirlwind finale. Dorati and Philharmonia Hungarica for anyone in need of an online performance. But I'm going with Solomons and L'Estro Armonico in which those horns really stand out.


 

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I played Pinnock and Wordsworth last week, so today it's Bruggen & The Orchestra Of The Age of Enlightenment. I also have the Adam Fischer, Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, but I'm not wearing a seat-belt!

 

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The piece was probably composed in 1769 and either overhauled or just played again for the visit of the Empress 4 years later being one of the most festive and extrovert Haydn had composed until then. Or it might have acquired the nickname by mistake.
I am listening to the Solomons recording that is quite great despite the tiny ensemble and the first two movements becoming a bit long with all their repeats.
In addition to the marvellous beginning of the symphony, I think the last two movements are brilliant and would not be out of place in a symphony 15 years later, the menuet must be one of the best classical symphonic menuets (often rather perfunctory and a bit boring movements) with the "tattoo signals" and the trio in the minor mode (major minor is also used for nice contrast early in the first movement).
 

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I have not been enthusiastic about all of Thomas Fey's Haydn (I eventually got rid of the 2 discs with 93,96,97 and 94/104 and when I re-listened to 70/73/75 I found some mannerism infuriating among some other great movements) but his #48 seems among his best ones. Unlike many others he uses high horns AND trumpets AND timpani to great effect but without the mannered exaggerations that IMO mar several of his other recordings.
 

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the menuet must be one of the best classical symphonic menuets (often rather perfunctory and a bit boring movements) with the "tattoo signals" and the trio in the minor mode (major minor is also used for nice contrast early in the first movement).
I dunno; if I may say so, you sound like you're describing something that typically happens in dozens of other Haydn symphonies -Maybe it's because I'm biased to tend to look more for melody/harmony side of things, I can't find anything extremely memorable about this one compared to the adjacent, 45th and 49th (with their 'special features'). However, there could be some elements like [3 Hilarious Examples of Rhythmic Ingenuity in Lesser-known Haydn Symphonies], which Haydn is good for, but it's not apparent to me whether or not there really are, at the moment.
 

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I dunno; if I may say so, you sound like you're describing something that typically happens in dozens of other Haydn symphonies -Maybe it's because I'm biased to tend to look more for melody/harmony side of things, I can't find anything extremely memorable about this one compared to the adjacent, 45th and 49th (with their 'special features'). However, there could be some elements like [3 Hilarious Examples of Rhythmic Ingenuity in Lesser-known Haydn Symphonies], which Haydn is good for, but it's not apparent to me whether or not there really are, at the moment.
We all know that you are very biased and listening mostly for a very restricted set of musical features... ;) Let's put it this way: The minuet from #45 would sound more out of place to me in a Haydn symphony of the 1780s or 90s because of its austere character whereas the colorful, brassy minuet from #48 would fit comparably well into a late C major piece like #90. Obviously the far more involved instrumentation in a piece like the trio of #97 clearly shows the advance in >20 years.
 

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We all know that you are very biased and listening mostly for a very restricted set of musical features... ;)
Well, at least I'm not biased enough to say things like "Handel's expressive chromaticism and dissonant harmonies is at least as or sometimes more effective than Bach's"... ;)

the colorful, brassy minuet from #48 would fit comparably well into a late C major piece like #90. Obviously the far more involved instrumentation in a piece like the trio of #97 clearly shows the advance in >20 years.
So you're saying, in effect, that in #90, Haydn is employing the same style of colorful, brassy writing for a minuet from #48 from >20 years ago.. Ok..
 
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