Hyperion Records

Symphony No 43 in E flat major 'Mercury'

'Haydn: Symphonies Nos 42-44' (CDH55117)
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 42-44
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55117  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
Movement 1: Allegro
Track 5 on CDH55117 [6'49] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Adagio
Track 6 on CDH55117 [9'33] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Menuetto
Track 7 on CDH55117 [3'46] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 4: Finale: Allegro
Track 8 on CDH55117 [5'51] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Symphony No 43 in E flat major 'Mercury'
The source of the ‘Mercury’ nickname of Symphony No 43 (1772) remains unknown. It could refer to its use as incidental music from some play or other given at Eszterháza, or it may not have appeared until the nineteenth century. It would certainly be wrong to impose any programmatic elements on to the abstract musical drama and search for a portrait of the gods’ winged messenger.

The symphony is marked by a unifying figure that links together the musical material of the various movements in much the same way that Beethoven was to do with the ‘fate’ motif in his Fifth Symphony. The idea here also has a three-note ‘knocking’ rhythm, first heard in the Allegro’s opening theme, then in the repeated quavers of the Adagio’s main idea, and finally in the reiterated figure of the Minuet. Only the finale avoids its use, being dominated instead by its strangely uncertain opening theme and vigorous, rushing quavers.

from notes by Matthew Rye © 1992

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