Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony Analytical Essay by LisaLove

An analysis of the first movement of Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony.
# 151728 | 903 words | 0 sources | 2006 | US
Published on Sep 06, 2012 in Music Studies (Classical and Baroque)

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This paper analyzes the first movement of F. J. Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony, #92 in G major, with a special focus on the innovative characteristics that distinguish it from other symphonies from the same time period .Franz Joseph Haydn's "Oxford" Symphony, no. 92 in G major, composed in 1789, is a work ahead of its time. The first movement's many deviations from the traditional sonata-allegro form and harmonic practice foreshadow the ideas of Beethoven and other later composers. The paper also examines how Haydn uses such techniques as the inclusion of a slow prologue, frequent inflections of the minor mode, unusual motivic unity, and an extended coda to create drama and momentum in his symphony.

From the Paper:

"The most obvious deviation from the sonata form of Haydn's day is apparent from the first bar--instead of the usual brisk tempo, the piece begins with a slow, gentle adagio introduction. This in and of itself would sound foreign to many concertgoers in the 18th century, but Haydn deviates further by reveling in the minor mode at the end of the introduction (starting at measure 13). He draws out an augmented sixth cadence that leads right into a dominant pedal, with an abrupt change of tempo to a more traditional allegro spiritoso. This is the actual starting point of the sonata's exposition (measure 21, marked by a start repeat sign), which is quite unusual in that this exposition, thus, begins on the dominant and not the expected tonic. This introductory section flowing into the beginning of the exposition is commonly seen in the music of Beethoven and other composers in the 19th century, but this technique was virtually unknown before Haydn's time."

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