1761: Haydn: Symphony No. 7 (NOON ) in C major, age 29 DT2

Mr. Peabody Says:

This is the 2nd of a trio of symphonies called “Day Trilogy”, Nos. 6-8, written for Prince Paul II Anton Esterházy and the 2nd written after Haydn had joined the Esterházy court. It is the 2nd of three that are characterized by unusual virtuoso writing across the orchestral ensemble. Start here: Finale – Allegro, C major

Adam Fischer:

  1. 22:44 Adagio – Allegro, C major 7:42
  2. 30:26 Recitativo – Adagio, C minor – G major 9:59
  3. 40:25 Menuetto and Trio, C major 3:39
  4. 44:04 Finale – Allegro, C major 4:10 (End 48:14)

Total play time: 25:30. The minuet is the shortest movement, but the finale seems even shorter because it is so energetic.


  • 2 flutes,
  • 2 oboes,
  • bassoon
  • 2 horns
  • strings
  • continuo


It is popularly known as “Le midi” (Noon). In many ways it reminds me of what Vivaldi did with his “Four Season”. Le midi means noon.

1st movement:

The first movement begins with a ceremonial fanfare style, ten bar passage in C major, followed by the allegro part of the movement in D major. The horns are always important, but there are great wind parts too along with great string writing complete with some solos.

2nd movement:

The second movement begins with an extended “recitative” in C minor featuring a solo violin. It ends in B minor to move to the main Adagio section. The Adagio follows in G major (a single morph) with solo violin and solo cello with prominent flute parts coloring the accompanying orchestration. The movement ends with an extended cadenza for the solo violin and cello.

3rd movement:

The movement opens with two themes presented by the strings and horns. As is the case with symphonies 6 and 8, the bass has an extensive solo in the trio of the minuet.

4th movement:

Like the previous symphony, the finale contains passages for almost all the instruments, but here its intensified even more with solos and tuttis often exchanging every other bar. The recapitulation is notably accentuated with horn fanfares, and there is another horn fanfare at the end to create a kind of “horn bookends” effect.

2 thoughts on “1761: Haydn: Symphony No. 7 (NOON ) in C major, age 29 DT2

  1. I was especially taken by the Recitative (2nd movement) and looked up what a “recitative” actually is. It seems it was originally for singers, and a singer would bring their favourite bit from any other opera that would make that singer shine. The instrumental recitative featured a soloist in the same way – one instrument (violin) accompanied by the orchestra – and it really grabbed me.

    Might this movement sometimes be performed alone? It seemed super familiar.

  2. I listened to the Finale which was full of vim and vigor. Very enjoyable listening. Now I am hooked and looking forward to hearing the remaining movements.

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