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Franz Joseph Haydn

(1732-1809)

Life and Training


Haydn was born into a musical family (his younger brother Michael also became a successful
composer). He moved to Vienna at the age of 8, where he sang, composed and performed as a
church musician. In 1761 he entered the service of the Esterhzy family, one of the richest and
most influential of the Hungarian noble families, firstly in Eisenstadt, Austria, then in
Eszterhza, Hungary. During this time his international reputation as a composer grew.
He undertook two very successful tours to London in the 1790s, and died in Vienna.

Musical Style
Haydn was one of the founders of the Classical style, which emphasised elegance and clarity,
formal design and thematic development. His early compositions show a fusion of the Baroque
style with the popular Viennese homophonic (galant) tradition. He transformed the Symphony
from a type of light entertainment to a strong, serious, and intellectually rigourous art form,
although his characteristic wit and good humour is almost always evident. The String Quartet
and Piano Sonata also underwent a rebirth as Haydns compositional style developed.
His compositions during the 1760s tended to be more passionate and brooding than his earlier
works, often in minor keys, and this period is known as Sturm und Drang (storm and
stress). In his later works he experimented with more unusual forms and key relationships
and increased chromaticism.

Contemporaries
Austrian: Johann Albrechtsberger, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Other: Johann Christian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Luigi Boccherini,
Muzio Clementi, Antonio Salieri.

Compositions
For piano: More than 50 Sonatas, several Piano Concertos, Variations, Fantasias.
Numerous other shorter works, including Minuets and other dances.

Other: Over 100 Symphonies.


Over 60 String Quartets.
Oratorios, including The Creation, The Seasons.
Operas.
Masses and other Church music.

Copyright 2011 by R. A. Hamilton. These notes may not be photocopied. www.rosshamilton.com.au


Sonata in E minor Hob. XVI: 34
(Joseph Haydn)

A sonata (from the Italian to sound) is a composition for one or two instruments in several
contrasting movements. Haydns sonatas usually contain three movements, in a fast-slow-fast
format. The Sonata in E minor (Hob XVI: 34) was probably written for harpsichord, and was
first published in 1784. (The Hob. number refers to the catalogue of Haydns works made by
Anthony van Hoboken; group XVI contains the piano sonatas).

The classical characteristics of this piece include:


light, elegant style.
short, balanced phrases, often based on scales or broken chords.
simple chordal or broken chord accompaniments (e.g. alberti bass).
modulations to closely related keys.
emphasis on formal structure and thematic development.

First Movement - Sonata Form, E minor, Presto


Exposition (b.1-45) - themes introduced in tonic and relative major keys.
b.1-8 First subject theme. Features 3-note slurs in right hand and arpeggios in left hand.
Remains in E minor, ending with imperfect cadence.
9-29 Transition. Begins with the first subject theme; moves to G major (relative major) in
bar 14 where the dynamic level increases and semiquavers enter, then to D major
(dominant of G major) in bar 26.
30-41 Second subject theme. All in G major. More lyrical then the first subject, but still
based on 3-note motives.
42-45 Codetta. Alternating tonic and dominant chords in G major.
Development (b.46-78) - themes reworked in various keys.
Based on ideas from the first subject and transition section. Begins abruptly in A minor;
moves to C major (b.51), then D minor (b.55), E minor (b.58) and B minor (b.60), and ends on
the dominant chord of E minor.
Recapitulation (b.79-127) - themes restated, now all in the tonic key.
79-80 First subject. Only the first two bars return here, in E minor.
81-94 Transition. Similar to before, but modulates only briefly to G major (b.84-5) and then
returns to E minor.
95-108 Second subject. Now in E minor.
109-127 Coda. Begins with alternating tonic and dominant chords in E minor. Moves through
C major (b.111) and A minor (b.114) then back to the tonic. The first subject theme
makes a final appearance in b.124.
The wedge sign (e.g. b.1) was used in Haydns day to indicate staccato, rather than a dot.
Ornaments used are trills (e.g. b.8) and turns (e.g. b.22).

Copyright 2011 by R. A. Hamilton. These notes may not be photocopied. www.rosshamilton.com.au


Second Movement - Modified Sonata Form, G major, Adagio
Exposition (b.1-20) - themes introduced in tonic and dominant keys.
An 8-bar highly embellished melody in G major, followed by a still more ornate passage
which modulates to D major (the dominant key) from the end of b.10, leading to a perfect
cadence in b.17-18.

Development (b.21-31) - a contrasting episode.


Four bars of the opening melody in E minor, followed by a free fantasia section moving
through A minor (b.25), G major (b.27) and D major (b.29).

Recapitulation (b.32-49) - a partial return of the themes, mostly in the tonic key.
The opening melody returns for the first six bars, in G major. The modulation to the
dominant is now confined to bars 37-38, after which the tonic key returns. There is an
interrupted cadence in bars 44-45, after which it moves to E minor, ending on the dominant
chord of E minor in preparation for the next movement.

The wedge signs indicate staccato.


Ornaments used are appoggiaturas (e.g. b.9), trills (e.g. b.22) and arpeggios (e.g. b.45).
perdendosi means dying away.
attacca subito means proceed immediately to the next movement without a break.

Third Movement - Theme & Variations/Rondo, E minor, Vivace molto


This movement is a set of variations on two themes, one in a minor key and the other in the tonic
major. Haydn used this scheme in a number of pieces, including the Variations in F minor and
the second movements of Symphonies 53, 63 and 103 (Drumroll). The resulting ABABA
form is similar to rondo form, the standard form for a final movement.

Theme A1 (b.1-18) In two parts, each repeated. The first moves from E minor to G
major (relative major), and the second from G major to E minor.
There is an alberti bass throughout.
Theme B1 (19-40) Also in two parts. The first moves from E major to B major
(dominant), and the second is all in E major.
Theme A2 (41-76) The first part returns as before, with slight rhythmic changes (e.g.
b.47), without the repeat. The second part is heard once as
before, and then in a varied form from bar 59, with added
semiquavers and ornaments, and an extension of the melody
which remains in G major. The first part returns in bar 69, with
more small rhythmic changes (e.g. b.71).
Theme B2 (77-100) The harmonic scheme is basically the same, but there is some
melodic variation, and an alberti bass accompaniment. There is a
dominant pedal from b.85-92.
Theme A3 (101-136) First part returns once as before, then with rhythmic and melodic
variations from bar 109. Second part heard twice, with melodic
and rhythmic variations, from bar 117.

Ornaments used are trills (e.g. b.4), appoggiaturas (e.g. b.7), and turns (e.g. b.24).

innocentemente means innocently.

Copyright 2011 by R. A. Hamilton. These notes may not be photocopied. www.rosshamilton.com.au