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Invocation - Symphonies 23 24 & 61

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Symphonies Nos. 23 and 24 were written in 1764 for performance before Prince Nikolaus at Eisenstadt, where the Esteráhzy palace boasted a reception hall that could have held some four hundred people, although such numbers would not have been present at w hat was a purely domestic entertainment for the Prince, members of his family and entourage, and his guests. These symphonies form part of a group of eight symphonies written in 1764 and 1765. Symphony No. 23 in G major opens with a triple time Allegro, a lively and cheerful movement. It is followed by a slow movement scored for strings. To this the use of suspensions adds an element of poignancy, as the momentary discords are resolved. The Menuet is a canon between upper and lower parts, with a Trio that has motivic connections with the Menuet that frames it. The last movement makes use of dynamic contrasts, ending with a reduction of volume, instead of the expected emphatic conclusion. In Symphony No.24 in D major Haydn shows once more his ability to produce, even at this early stage of his career as a composer, music of infinite variety and invention, within existing formal limitations. The opening Allegro makes initial use of the wind and string timbres available in a sonata-allegro movement that has it's moments of stronger feeling in the central development. The slow movement makes use of the flute in apart apparently written for the Esterházy flautist Franz Sigl, for whom Haydn also wrote a flute concerto, now lost. Here he exploits the abilities of the player, allowing him a brief cadenza. The following Menuet is repeated after a Trio in which the flute again has apart to play. The two oboes of the orchestra return for a final movement of dramatic contrasts. Symphony No. 61 in D major belongs to a slightly later period of Haydn's life. It was written in 1776, at a time when Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's interests in theatre and opera predominated, with visiting theatre-troupes working at Esterháza and a marionette theatre established there in 1773. Haydn provided music for operas on special occasions, but the seasonal presence of actors and the requirements of the marionette theatre involved the provision of incidental music for a variety of German plays, including translations of Shakespeare. Although the material Symphony No. 61 cannot be directly associated with any of the plays known to have been performed at Esterházy, it belongs to a group of symphonies that do make use of incidental music originally intended to accompany drama. These include Symphony No. 60, Il distratto, using music for Jean François Regnard's play Le distrait and Symphony No. 63, La Roxelane, with music composed for Favart's Les trois sultanes. The vigorous opening Vivace of Symphony No. 61 is followed by a moving Adagio and a cheerful Menuet, with the customary repetition after a contrasting Trio. There is a particularly theatrical final movement that seems to tell it's own story.

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Invocation - Symphonies 23 24 & 61.

1) Sym No.24 in D: Allegro
2) Sym No.24 in D: Adagio
3) Sym No.24 in D: Menuet
4) Sym No.24 in D: Finale: Allegro
5) Sym No.23 in G: Allegro
6) Sym No.23 in G: Andante
7) Sym No.23 in G: Menuet
8) Sym No.23 in G: Finale: Presto Assai
9) Symphony No.61 in D: Vivace
10) Symphony No.61 in D: Adagio
11) Symphony No.61 in D: Menuet
12) Symphony No.61 in D: Prestissimo

Symphonies 23 24 & 61
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Symphonies 23 24 & 61 | Invocation