Day 9: Meh (But a Truly Competent Meh)

Haydn009It’s a beautiful Fall day. The sun is shining. The temperature at this moment is a crisp 46 degrees (that’s 7.78 Celsius to some of you), on its way to a high of around 70 degrees, with nothing but sun, sun, sun in a sky of blue in the forecast.

Maybe that’s why Haydn’s symphonies are not holding my attention this morning.

I listened to CD 9 twice. And I could have sworn I was listening to the same movement on repeat the entire time.

Symphony No. 34 in D Minor begins with a long adagio movement that, although substantive, isn’t particularly memorable. Movement II (“Allegro”) is somewhat better, although it sounds unlike the previous symphonies I’ve heard. It sounds more like a full orchestra, more like a traditional symphony. The sound is big. Lots of instruments. Movements III and IV follow suit. They’re expertly crafted. No doubt. But they don’t move me.

This symphony was composed in 1765. Haydn was 33.

Symphony No. 35 in B Flat, composed in 1767 (Haydn was 35), sounds like another full-orchestra symphony. By that, I mean I hear fewer solos form oboes, bassoon, horns, etc. Movement IV (“Presto”) is a lot of fun. Very lively. Not particularly memorable. But a flurry of instrumentation that I enjoy.

Symphony No. 36 in E Flat, composed, according to Continue reading