Hyperion Records

Symphony No 91 in E flat major

'Haydn: Symphonies Nos 90-92' (CDH55125)
Haydn: Symphonies Nos 90-92
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Movement 1: Largo – Allegro assai
Track 5 on CDH55125 [8'02] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 2: Andante
Track 6 on CDH55125 [6'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 3: Menuet: Un poco allegretto
Track 7 on CDH55125 [4'39] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Movement 4: Finale: Vivace
Track 8 on CDH55125 [6'58] Helios (Hyperion's budget label)

Symphony No 91 in E flat major
The Largo that opens Symphony No 91 is a more stately introduction than the more teasing affair of No 90, responding like Mozart and Beethoven to the ‘aristocratic’ nature of E flat major. Yet the Allegro begins in a deceptively simple vein, with its main theme little more than a near-chromatic rising scale played concurrently with a diatonic falling one. As the movement progresses, it becomes clear that this is another of Haydn’s monothematic creations: the chromatic idea is rarely absent and distinctions between ‘first’ and ‘second’ subjects are somewhat blurred, with the most obvious contrasting theme appearing in a tonally transitional context. As in No 90, the slow movement is in variation form with contrasting sections in B flat major and minor, though here the latter forms a ‘one off’ centrepiece. The minuet and trio are followed by another monothematic sonata-form finale.

from notes by Matthew Rye © 1991

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