Haydn Symphony 40 Analysis

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Haydn, Joseph (1732 - 1809)
Symphony No. 40 in F major, 3rd movement - ‘Menuet e Trio’

Haydn was a master at composing symphonies with about 107 symphonies under his name ; all of which have some value to the musical landscape during the 18th century. Haydn was the forerunner which laid the foundations of the symphonic form for composers who came after him. For example, according to Wenborn, N (1997: 31) the four note theme used by Haydn in his 13th symphony was the same theme which Mozart used in the last movement of his monumental Jupiter Symphony which was composed 20 years later. This proves that Haydn indeed laid the foundation in terms of composing symphonies. I will analyze Symphony No.40 in F major with special attention on the 3rd
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In a letter to Bailli Du Roullet sent on 1 July 1775, Gluck had this to say about the work, “ The opera is a cask of frozen wine, the spirit which has withdrawn to the centre; it is truly exquisite but with too much body to be drunk in any quantity” . The opera’s librettist is Bailli Du Roullet and the opera consists of 3 acts. The specific work I will be focusing on is a piece called Grands dieux, du destin qui m’accable which is a very beautiful piece of music. The recording I listened to is sung by Sylvia Sass .

Interesting to note, Alceste was not very well received in the years 1796 and 1804. However, the change came when the work was performed in various vernacular languages which people from other countries could understand such as Germany. The work was performed by the Royal Opera in German and it soon became a lasting piece in operatic repertoire
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The movement opens with the first violin playing a 2 bar motif which is repeated throughout the piece and developed further in certain instances . In addition, the opening bars start off dramatic with a very big crescendo which quickly dies down to a subtle but effective 'piano.' The opening section of the movement is a force of continuous forward motion with the first violins taking the lead in most instances. The quick changes in dynamics, for me (having studied Beethoven in high school and learning what a brute of a man he was), mirrors his temperamental, uneasy

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