1763: Haydn: Symphony No. 34 in D minor (QUAKER I), age 31 MINOR

Mr. Peabody Says:

Only the slow first movement – which is almost as long as the other three movements combined – is in D minor, the rest of the symphony is in sunny D major. Because of this, the piece is sometimes denoted with two key signatures (i.e. D minor/D major). Since all of the movements have the same tonic, the work is homotonal.


  1. Adagio (D minor)
  2. Allegro
  3. Menuet – Trio
  4. Presto assai

Adam Fischer


  • Adagio
  • Allegro
  • Menuet – Trio
  • Presto assai


  • two oboes,
  • bassoon,
  • two horns,
  • strings and
  • continuo

Theatrical origins:

It is possible that this symphony is the one referred to in an inscription accompanying Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 (La passione) which reads:

questa Sinfonia (i.e. 49) serve di Compagna a quella / del Philosopho Inglese dell’ istesso autore.

(This symphony serves as a companion to the “English Philosopher” by the same author.)

This all gets incredibly complicated, but the bottom line is that there is a connection between this symphony and No. 49 (La passione). That’s more important than everything else because it points to a similarity in form, mood and more. Both were apparently about some kind of stiff-necked, overly formal Quaker.

So this symphony is the only one that shares exactly the same movement plan as Symphony No. 49.

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