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Haydn – Symphony n.44

Last updated Mar 18, 2022 | Published on Mar 24, 2022

Winner of a fellowship at the Bayreuther Festspiele, Mr. Griglio’s conducting has been praised for his “energy” and “fine details”. Mr. Griglio took part in the first world recording of music by composer Irwin Bazelon and conducted several world premieres like "The song of Eddie", by Harold Farberman, a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize. Principal Conductor of International Opera Theater Philadelphia for four years, Mr.Griglio is also active as a composer. His first opera, Camille Claudel, debuted in 2013 to a great success of audience and critics. Mr. Griglio is presently working on an opera on Caravaggio and Music Director of Opera Odyssey.
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Table of contents

Introduction

Haydn’s symphony 44 is known as Trauer (Mourning). An apocryphal story relates that Haydn asked for the slow movement of this symphony to be played at his funeral.

This symphony was composed in 1772 and is typical of Haydn’s Sturm und Drang (storm and stress) period.

The Sturm und Drang was a pre-Romantic movement in German literature and music between the late 1760s and early 1780s.

It was characterized by extremes of emotions in reaction to the rationalism imposed by the Age of Enlightenment.

Thomas Hardy, portrait of Joseph Haydn – 1791

Haydn’s Symphony n.44 – Analysis

Allegro con brio

Should you need a score you can find one here.

The first movement is in sonata form and begins with a four-note motif played in unison. We will find this motif times and again throughout the entire movement. The jump from the tonic to the dominant and the return to the tonic – all in the forte dynamic – makes a clear statement: it grabs the attention of the listener and establishes a very serious tone.

The following two bars, in piano, seem to mitigate the temperament, with that descending lament – something we’ve encountered in many of the previous episodes.

Notice the orchestration: strings, 2 oboes, and 2 horns. The choice of these winds makes for quite a dark sound, sometimes warmer, sometimes colder, sometimes powerful, sometimes delicate. This type of nuance would not have been possible with, say, flutes and horns, or oboes and bassoons.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Analysis - ex1
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Notes

Cover image by Lucas Craig from Pexels

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Gianmaria Griglio is an intelligent, exceptional musician. There is no question about his conducting abilities: he has exceptionally clear baton technique that allows him to articulate whatever decisions he has made about the music.

Harold Farberman

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