F.J. Haydn: Symphony Nos. 82-87

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  • Topic: Joseph Haydn, 83, Orchestra
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  • Published : November 21, 2010
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F.J. Haydn: Symphony Nos. 82-87

“Paris Symphonies”

The Paris Symphonies, written by F.J. Haydn are his symphonies number eighty two through eighty seven. They were written between the years of 1785-1786 and were the product of a foreign commission. They were written in the cities of Paris, France, Vienna, Austria, and London, England. The print and publishing of the piece were authorized in France and first appeared in January of 1788.[1] The six symphonies were written for the Logue Olympique in Paris, France.

Originally, Haydn meant for the symphonies not to be played in order as they are numbered, and did not write them in numerical order either. He wrote number 83 and 87 around 1785, in 1786 he wrote numbers 82, 84, and 86 and number 85 was written at an unknown time between 1785 and 1786. Haydn started by wanting them to be published in the order 87, 85, 83, 84, 86, 82, but later decided to have them played in the order 82, 87, 85, 84, 83, 86.[2]

To analyze this piece I will be using the book “Haydn: The ‘Paris’ Symphonies” by Bernard Harrison. I will also use as a back up is “The Music of Joseph Haydn, the Symphonies” by Antony Hodgson. Both of these books have decent analysis of the pieces and, with the recordings, should provide excellent tools.

The large Paris Orchestra, which played the symphonies first, consisted of seventy strings and doubled woodwind, yet it is believed that Haydn did not consider this while he was writing them. The two fullest works were not played by the Paris Orchestra, however. They were originally played by by the Prince’s Band at Eszterhaza , which only had twenty-four members, not including trumpets and drums, which only played when required. This ensemble was approximately one third the size of the Paris Orchestra.[3]

Haydn did something with symphony 82 that had not been done in over twelve years. Number 82 is in C major, and it brought to the table a C Major Festive Symphony including the...
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