College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 3 Page: 75
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PROGRAM NOTES (cont'd)
In contrast to the sporting first movement and the spiritual second, the Minuet offers
us a vision of earthly delights. This scene of rustic celebration opens with dancing, wine, and
country mirth. In the staccato bass line, one hears the stamping of peasants as they dance
in circles around a harvest feast; in the rumbling timpani solos, we hear the groan of the
overflowing tables. Yet rural square phrases are tempered by witty modulations that seem
to unravel them, reprising the symphony's recurring topic. After all the wine and food have
been consumed, the inebriated Trio begins, and its music is even more earthly than that of
the Minuet. Here, the bagpipes enter the festivities, droning for the sleepy dancers as their
celebration draws to a close.
The Finale, cast in a sonata-rondo form, is one of Haydn's most intricate movements,
a true happy ending for this symphony. A hallmark of his style, it achieves a final synthesis
of galant sentiments and academic sophistication. Like the Largo, the Finale opens with
an unusual pairing of instruments: a bassoon and the first violins take up the jaunty main
theme, a gavotte with all the distinguishing features. In the middle of the piece, a return to
the main theme and the central key launches into the dramatic high point of the movement.
Here, in a contrapuntal tour-de-force, Haydn converts the primary thematic material into a
canon between the lower and higher strings that is sustained throughout the whole section.
The canon builds in energy, changing keys and escalating in tension until a mysterious
knocking in the horns and pizzicato strings ushers in a final statement of the primary theme.
Here’s what’s next.
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 3, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114725/m1/75/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.