Posts tagged ‘Haydn’

September 28, 2012

Haydn Symphonies – Reduced

I just spent an evening playing a couple of late Haydn symphonies – Symphony 94 – Surprise & Symphony 104 – London. These were an official, Haydn-endorsed reduction done by Johann Peter Salomon for String Quartet + Flute, and have recently been re-edited by Christopher Hogwood. (I keep wanting to write “Hogwash” or “Hogweed” there… I blame my father.) A friend has added a double bass part to these to add a bit of oomph – mainly by taking the orchestral bass part, with a couple of extra bits where the cello in the reduction has to go filling in something else…

Not particularly challenging apart from the odd semiquaver passage, but fun, and worth a heads-up. (“Surprise” needs a bottom C for the slow movement, and the bass part I was playing had its own surprise in a bit of triple & quadruple-stopping. Thank you Tony!)

September 4, 2009

Haydn – Farewell Symphony

I was recently asked to join a local orchestra for a performance of Haydn’s Symphony 45 – “Farewell”. Unfortunately, I was unable to accept their invitation; however, an alarm bell did start ringing…

So I found a copy of the cello / bass part, and had a quick flick through. Nothing to worry about by looking at the first page – 3 sharps, big deal. But my memory was telling me there was a passage in 6 sharps, and a rather exposed bass solo. And, me being a bit pessimistic about these things, I thought that it might be that the solo itself was in 6 sharps. Oh dear. So I had to keep looking…

First movement – nothing to worry about. Second movement – an awkward “Scotch Snap” type rhythm at the beginning of the second half, but not much of a problem. Third movement – Minuet & Trio – again, nothing there apart from the 6 sharp key signature. It must be in the Finale.

The finale. “Presto”. Oh dear. Thankfully, only 3 sharps in the key signature. But again, nothing immediately obvious until I turned on to the last page, where the presto leads into an Adagio passage (whew!) in 3/8, which seems to be about the point where Haydn starts sending the players home. And there we have it – the dread phrase “uno Basso solo”, with an exposed triplet semiquaver passage.

And here’s that passage for future reference (click for a bigger version suitable for printing and practising):