Joseph Haydn – Symphony 73 (1782)

Claude Monet: La Chasse (1876)

Claude Monet: La Chasse (1876)

Haydn’s mastery in combining musicality and structure is sublime in this symphony. The repeated notes of the slow introduction are transformed into a theme of repeated notes in the allegro; and, the repeated notes, when voiced in two or several of the instruments of the orchestra, in turn become the implied counterpoint to the melody. The simplicity of the idea is rendered superb by the mind of this great composer.

As in the realm of the string quartet, Haydn is dominant in the realm of the symphony, and was equally dominant in establishing them as musical forms, later used so well by Mozart, Beethoven, and others. In 1782, Mozart, who was to meet Haydn two years later, composed his Symphony 35, the Haffner, K. 385; and K. 551, the Jupiter, was still six years in the future.  In 1783, Beethoven, at the age of 13, published his three early piano sonatas, WoO 47. Beethoven began sketching his first symphony in 1795, and did not publish it until 1801.

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