Hyperion Records

Symphony No 44 in E minor 'Trauersinfonie'

'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 con brio
Track 9 on CDH55117 [6'08] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Menuetto: Allegretto
Track 10 on CDH55117 [4'58] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Adagio
Track 11 on CDH55117 [7'46] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 4: Finale: Presto
Track 12 on CDH55117 [4'45] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Symphony No 44 in E minor 'Trauersinfonie'
Most of these characteristics are present in Symphony No 44, the first of the three recorded here to be written (c1770/71). Its nickname—‘Trauersinfonie’, or ‘Mourning Symphony’—seems for once to have been Haydn’s own, and it is reported that he later requested that its slow movement should be played at his funeral. There is no attempt at a funeral march as such (where one might be expected—the aforementioned slow movement—we have an Adagio in E major) and the mourning conveys more the sense of anger of loss than quiet contemplation.

The tense opening movement sums up Haydn’s Sturm und Drang style with its fierce contrasts of dynamics, urgent semiquavers and, towards the end, a brief passage combining contrapuntal imitation with tonality-destabilising chromaticism. Counterpoint is again to the fore in the Minuet, a strict canon between upper and lower strings. The brighter mood of the major-key trio prepares the way for the Adagio, a movement which provides the calm contemplation lacking in the first movement. The finale is one of Haydn’s most remarkable, a movement brimming with nervous energy that is the embodiment of ‘storm and stress’.

from notes by Matthew Rye © 1992

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66530 track 12
Finale: Presto
Recording date
26 February 1992
Recording venue
Watford Town Hall, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Tony Faulkner
Hyperion usage
  1. Haydn: Symphonies Nos 42-44 (CDA66530)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: November 1992
    Deletion date: October 2002
    Superseded by CDH55117
  2. Haydn: Symphonies Nos 42-44 (CDH55117)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: October 2002
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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