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Symphony No. 22 (Haydn)

The Symphony No. 22 in E flat major by Joseph Haydn was written in 1764. It has the nickname The Philosopher (Der Philosoph). Haydn's original autograph score has survived to the present day.

The nickname was not Haydn's own, but was used in his lifetime. The reasons for the nickname are unknown, but it is often assumed to be due to its rather sombre and serious first movement.

The piece is unusually scored for two cor anglais (replacing the more usual oboes), two French horns and strings. In Haydn's time, a basso continuo would have played with the orchestra.

The work is in four movements:

  1. Adagio
  2. Presto
  3. Menuetto
  4. Finale: Presto

This slow-fast-slow-fast scheme is the same as the baroque sonata da chisea form, though Haydn's harmonic and melodic language is definitely Classical. The third movement is a ternary form minuet and trio, and the last is in sonata form and features the horns playing motifs reminiscent of hunting music.

Another version of the piece, well known in Haydn's time, has three movements: the second movement of the original version comes first, then there is a different movement, marked andante grazioso, which is thought to be spurious, and then the finale as in the original version. This arrangement is not thought to be Haydn's own and is today a mere historical curiousity, rarely performed.

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