I was enthralled by Symphony No. 61 in D within its first 20 seconds.
The symphony opens with a burst of instruments — bam! — and then there’s a stuttering, a chattering, a dancing of strings building up to another full-instrument burst — bam! Then, oboe and bassoon enter the dance. Things really get rocking at the :30 mark when it sounds like bursts of fireworks. It’s bam! bam! bam! bam! syncopated around the dancing strings and the serenading, oboe, bassoon, and flute. These are some of the most stirring seconds I’ve yet heard from Haydn. This is hair-raising, truly invigorating craftsmanship.
Well, here it is. Listen for yourself. This is exactly the same performance to which I’m listening this morning:
Same conductor (Adam Fischer), same orchestra (Austro-Hungarian Orchestra).