Symphony No. 55 (Haydn) by Joseph Haydn

Summary

'''Symphony No. 55''' in E-flat major, Hoboken I/55, is a symphony by Joseph Haydn, composed by 1774. It is scored for 2 oboes, bassoon, 2 horns and strings. It is in four movements:

#Allegro di molto, 3/4

#Adagio ma semplicemente, 2/4 in B-flat major

#Menuetto & trio, 3/4

#Finale: Presto, 2/4

The second movement is a theme with seven variations. Keeping with the ''semplicemente'' marking, the theme is quite simple and is in two halves. A recurring contrast amongst the variations is between those that are ''staccato'' (theme, 2 & 3) and those that are more ''legato'' (1, 4, 5). The variations overlap twice (theme with variation 1, variation 3 with variation 4) in that the first half for the two variations in sequence followed by the second half for each. Both times this is done to contrast a ''staccato'' variation with a ''legato'' one. For the most part, the movement is for muted strings only, with notable wind outbursts in the second variation as well as the use of full tutti in the seventh variation which serves to recapitulate the movement.A. Peter Brown, ''The Symphonic Repertoire'' (Volume 2). (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 2002) ISBN 025333487X, pp. 154-56.

The trio of the Menuetto is scored for solo cello and two solo violins.H. C. Robbins Landon, ''Haydn: Chronicle and Works'', 5 vols, (Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press, 1976- ) v. 2: "Haydn at Eszterhaza, 1766-1790",

The finale is a mixture of variation and rondo form.

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