Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Nationality: Austrian
Born: March 31, 1732, Rohrau, Austria Died: May 31, 1809, Vienna (age 77)

Piano Trio No. 35 in C major, Op. 71, No. 1, Hob. XV:21

(for violin, cello and piano)
5:30 I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
4:13 II. Molto andante
3:58 III. Finale. Presto
Duration: 13 minutes (approximately)
Composed: (?) 1792-1794 (age 59-62)
Published: 1794-1795 (age 61-63)
Dedication: à son altesse Madame la Princesse Marie Esterházy
6 recordings, 16 videos
autoopen autoplay
5:24
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
4:26
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
II. Molto andante
3:48
Haydn Trio Eisenstadt
III. Finale. Presto
5:20
Trio Fontenay
I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
4:10
Trio Fontenay
II. Molto andante
3:57
Trio Fontenay
III. Finale. Presto
5:14
Auer Trio
I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
4:18
Auer Trio
II. Molto andante
4:00
Auer Trio
III. Finale. Presto
5:35
Van Swieten Trio
I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
4:11
Van Swieten Trio
II. Molto andante
4:16
Van Swieten Trio
III. Finale. Presto
4:55
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
I. Adagio pastorale - Vivace assai
3:40
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
II. Molto andante
3:12
Mendelssohn Piano Trio
III. Finale. Presto
13:09
Jess-Kropfitsch
From Kai Christiansen

Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809

Piano Trio No. 35 in C major, Op. 71, No. 1, Hob. XV:21, circa 1792-94

Joseph HaydnHaydn is well known for his monumental achievements with the symphony and the string quartet; he produced a combined total of works in both genres numbering around one hundred and forty-two. But Haydn was prodigious in at least two other genres at the heart of the classical tradition: the keyboard sonata and the keyboard trio, both transitioning from the harpsichord to the piano during the course of his career. Haydn composed something like fifty keyboard sonatas and another forty or so keyboard trios of which over thirty have been authenticated. The final ten "late" trios were written between 1794 and 1797 specifically for the piano rather than the harpsichord. They are known as the "London Trios" since Haydn wrote them primarily during his second, marvelously successful trip to England following his retirement from service to the Hungarian Esterházys. Every one of the final trios is considered a masterpiece and a founding example in yet another nascent genre in which Haydn exercised his supreme gift for sonata forms.

continuoThe string quartet emerged by absorbing and thereby disposing of the Baroque era accompaniment known generally as continuo, a role most commonly fulfilled by a keyboard (often with additional bass instruments). Where before, the keyboard player would largely improvise a part to supply the full harmonies for the ensemble, now, the necessary harmonies were incorporated into the fully composed parts for strings, an accomplishment that renowned British musicologist Donald Tovey called "utterly miraculous"—a feat which can almost be attributed to Haydn single-handedly. Curiously, the piano trio emerged by a different process which was additive rather than reductive: for color, variety and an opportunity for the dilettante to participate, composers added simplified, optional parts to the otherwise solo keyboard sonatas creating a new genre called the accompanied sonata. Starting with French composers such as Mondonville and Rameau, the accompanied sonata provided a lucrative market for such proto-classical composers as Schobert and the Bach sons. Schobert and C. P. E. Bach significantly influenced Haydn and Mozart. In many of these sonatas, the additional parts for flute, violin or cello were optional ("ad libitum"), unnecessary for the integrity of piece. The accompaniment was often merely a doubling of the treble and bass lines in the keyboard part, but these additional parts added valuable flexibility in a market for domestic music making. With Haydn, the artistry of his conceptions made these parts essential to the character of the music, especially the violin part. Haydn's trios represent the ultimate artful realization of the accompanied sonata before its historical demise, leaving the evolution of the modern piano trio for three equal players to Mozart.

Maria Josepha Hermengilde EsterházyHaydn's Trio in C Major, Hob. XV:21 was one of three published in London in 1795 during his celebrated second visit to that city where he was fêted as the greatest living composer in all of Europe. Haydn dedicated the trios Princesse Marie, the wife of Prince Nikolaus II of Esterházy, the illustrious Hungarian noble family that employed Kapellmeister Haydn for decades. Haydn, now in his early sixties, was as the height of his power as a composer producing some of his most magnificent works including his last symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas and trios.

This trio is particularly warm, bright and exuberant and is unique among Haydn's trios for starting with a brief, slow introduction. Marked adagio pastorale, it finds all three players in unison softly "humming" a gently rocking tune that briefly hovers, then pauses, before bursting on the scene again, full speed, an octave higher, in a sparkling vivace romp. A frequently occurring lightly drumming drone in the lower voices reinforces the notion of a bucolic dance with the suggestion of bagpipes. Within the context of such light-hearted joie de vivre, Haydn's "developments" add some wonderful drama.

The gentle, slower middle movement starts with the violin who passes the melody to the right hand of the piano in a sweet dialogue just slightly tinged with melancholy, perhaps the tender, amorous sighs of lovers on retreat in the country. The finale restores the fresh and immediate al fresco vitality of the opening with another lively dance, this time spun out in one of Haydn's trademark rondos. With its driving presto tempo, trills, the dramatic flickering of passages in the minor mode and what sounds like the occasional call of horns, the music evokes the thrill of the hunt to complete this rustic triptych.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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