1759: Haydn: Symphony No. 1 in D major, age 27

Mr. Peabody Says:

The 1st symphony is not really the 1st. Haydn did not often date his symphonies, so we have to guess about when they were written. Apparently this was written in 1759 while in the service of Count Morzin. We only know that those written under Morzin were some of his earliest. But we have to start somewhere.

Who is Count Morzin?

Check HERE to find out about this Count.

Why start with Symphony No. 1, if it’s not really No. 1?

The answer: because no one agrees on the exact order these were written, so at least the numbers one through 104 are standard, so I’m following that order

Giovanni Antonini

(For videos of this type the whole symphony is in one file, which is very convenient because there are no stops.)

  1. Presto,  D major
  2. Andante in G major
  3. Presto, D major

Adam Fischer:

  1. Presto,  D major 5:07
  2. Andante in G major 6:03
  3. Presto, D major 2:19

(For this and all other Fischer recordings you have to link to one movement, which is both good and bad. If you put YouTube on autoplay you will automatically go the the next movement. The good part is that you see the lengths of the movements. If you are not on autoplay, you have to click on the next movement to get there, so it’s your choice.)


  • 2 oboes
  • possibly
  • bassoon
  • 2 horns
  • strings
  • continuo

Who do you listen to?

There are so many famous recordings, Adam Fischer is one of my favorites, and he recorded all the symphonies. Giovanni Antonini is my other favorite, so most of the time I can flip a coin for these two. Giovanni has not recorded all of them, but he will by 2032.

But there are many others, so please check out as many performance as possible if you really like a symphony.

3 thoughts on “1759: Haydn: Symphony No. 1 in D major, age 27

  1. In comparison to the Fischer recording, the sound on Antonini’s seemed muted. The thing I liked about Antonini’s was being able to see the players.

    Haydn at age 27, very impressive, but wait, there’s so much more to come.

  2. The only way for me to get a picture was to listen to two performances, so to do that I grabbed the last movement – Antonini, then Fischer. I was surprised by the great difference. A’s presto was quite presto: Fischer’s had flow and shape, which let me appreciate what Haydn’s music contained. Was the performance practice of the period known? Like, how they played in his time?

    1. Antonini (or rather, Il Giardino Armonico,) is closer to period. They’re one of the pioneers of the “period” thing. I truly enjoy both, but Gary will attest, I do so love the proper Baroque instruments, warts and all. So many warts! Fisher brings the modern cleanliness to the sound, yet to my ear, is still faithtul to the baroque.

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