1768: Haydn: The Symphony No. 38 in C major (ECHO), age 34 Trp TIMP

Mr. Peabody Says:

A look at the instruments shows timpani and trumpets, but they do not seem to be used much in this symphony. Perhaps most interesting are the wonderful oboe parts in the last two movements.

Hogwood

  1. Allegro di molto
  2. Andante molto in F major
  3. Menuet e Trio (Trio in F major)
  4. Allegro di molto

Adam Fischer

  1. Allegro di molto
  2. Andante molto in F major
  3. Menuet e Trio (Trio in F major)
  4. Allegro di molto

Instruments:

  •  two oboes
  • bassoon
  • two horns
  • trumpet, how many is unclear
  • timpani
  • strings
  • continuo

Date:

Because of the virtuosic oboe parts in the final two movements, it has been suggested that the work’s composition may have coincided with the employ of the oboist Vittorino Colombazzo in the fall of  1768.

Nickname:

It is typically referred to as the “Echo” Symphony because of the use of mimicry motif (or echo) in the cadential phrasing of the second movement. The echo effect is created by scoring the leading line for unmuted first violins and the response from muted second violins.

The trio of the minuet contains a virtuosic solo oboe part that spans the entire range of the instrument and contains leaps of almost two octaves.

The finale is another showpiece for the solo oboe which includes virtuosic display, notes held fermata and a spot for a cadenza. It is not in typical concerto form, but is a mixture between concerto and sonata forms.

It has been suggested that the first two movements were composed before Haydn knew of the engagement with the soloist Colombazzo as they have a completely different character than the two oboe-centric movements that round up the work.

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