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Symphony No. 9 (B. & H.), in C Minor

Joseph Haydn

1. Allegro.

2. Andante.

3. Minuet.

4. Finale. Vivace.

The Symphony in C minor -- Breitkopf and Härtel, No 9 -- opens at once with an Allegro in common time:

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The bold steps at the opening and the march-like rhythm of the third and fourth measures, although subdued in a dynamic sense, and never used in a military mood, give the movement a certain crispness which is effectively offset by the second theme:

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This is followed by scale runs in triplets, that alternate between the higher and lower instrumental groups and well preserve the strong character of the otherwise short movement.

The Andante catabile, in E flat, in its idyllic theme --

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betrays the composer of "With Verdure clad," and vies with that well-known melody in sweetness. It is worked out in a number of variations, among which the one in E flat minor is especially noticeable.

The Minuet is one of the popular concert numbers, and is a masterly specimen of grace and refined humor, combined with the stateliness of the old-fashioned dance. Its theme is the following:

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The Trio varies from many of the previous ones in that the movement of eight notes appears staccato throughout, and is given to the 'cellos, the violins only marking the rhythm.

The Finale is vivace, in C major, is rich in the treatment of counterpoint and fugue; but at a glance at leading theme --

[Music excerpt]

will show at once that it is not dry or heavy music. The general treatment reminds us of his earlier symphonies, but much of it also shows the influence of Mozart.

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See also:
Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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