Movement 1: Adagio – Allegro con spirito
Movement 2: Andante più tosto Allegretto
Movement 3: Menuetto – Trio
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro con spirito
For his not-so-slow movement (Andante più tosto Allegretto) Haydn writes a set of ‘double’ variations on two related tunes, one in C minor, the other in C major, and both derived from Croatian folk melodies. Haydn gave the C major tune a more exotic gypsy flavour by raising its F naturals to F sharps, in the process aligning it more closely with the C minor tune. After the second major-keyed variation, beginning as delectable ‘toy soldier’ music and ending as an imperious march, a nostalgic reminiscence of the C major theme suggests a final envoi. Haydn, though, suddenly veers into E flat—the main key of the symphony—for a dramatic, modulating coda.
The swaggering minuet exploits and transfigures a traditional Austrian yodel, while the trio features graceful arabesques for clarinets, doubled by the strings (mindful, perhaps, of the limitations of his London players, Haydn tends to use the clarinets cautiously in these symphonies). Like the last movement of Mozart’s ‘Jupiter’, the finale is designed as a true symphonic apotheosis. In a compositional feat extraordinary even by his standards, Haydn creates a movement of thrilling harmonic and contrapuntal drama from the bare minimum of material: merely a traditional horn call and a snatch of Croatian folksong.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009