1757: Haydn: Symphony No. 16 in Bb major, age 25

Mr. Peabody Says:

There are very few recordings of the early symphonies. But compare the last movements, and remember presto means very fast:

  1. Presto 2:58
  2. Presto 3:19

Fischer is stodgy:

I’ll probably just delete Fischer later, because this performance totally bores m.

Christopher Hogwood/The Academy of Ancient Music

  1. Allegro 4:25
  2. Andante Eb major 6:15
  3. Presto 2:58

Adam Fischer:

  1. Allegro 3:45
  2. Andante Eb major 4:57
  3. Presto 3:19


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

There is nothing about this symphony anywhere except a comment that it was written very early. So even though this is numbered as 16, for all anyone knows it could be close to the first. There are only three movements, and later on that was very unusual. The orchestration is typical for these early symphonies.

I have not made up my mind about how I feel with the sound of modern orchestras vs. orchestras that use instruments more like what Haydn wrote for. I’m sticking Fischer because he recorded all of them, but some leave me wanted to hear something with more energy. This one sounds to me as though he phoned it in.

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