1767: Haydn: Symphony No. 59 (FIRE) in A major, age 35

Mr. Peabody Says:

Haydn wrote music for operas, and that music often made it’s way into his symphonies. But this one is confusing. There is a play linked to the name, and some of Haydn’s music may have been used years later. However, none of this is certain. However, the 1st movement is presto and sounds like it is on fire!

David Blum

This starts out really fast. It is truly fiery tempo!

Adam Fischer

  1. Presto, A major
  2. Andante o più tosto Allegretto, A minor
  3. Menuet e Trio
  4. Finale – Allegro


  • two oboes
  • two horns
  • continuo (bassoon, harpsichord)
  • strings


A manuscript of the symphony dating from Haydn’s lifetime bears the title “Fire Symphony”. Supposedly several movements were used as accompanying music to a performance of the play “Die Feuersbrunst” by Gustav Friedrich Wilhelm Großmann, which was performed at Eszterháza in either (depending on the source) 1774 or 1778, or anywhere in between. But none of this is definite.


The date of its first performance is unknown, as is the true of most of Haydn’s symphonies, which means the exact time of composition is just a guess.

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