Haydn 2032, Volume 13: Symphonies Nos. 31, 48, 59 – Il Giardino Armonico, Giovanni Antonini

January 31, 2023, 9:00 am

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The Esterházy princes’ love of hunting prompted their “house composer” Joseph Haydn to make extensive use of the horn. At the time, this was still the hand horn, limited to “natural” harmonics since it did not yet have valves. Between 1761 and 1790 there were a total of eighteen horn players in princely service, but no trumpeters. Thus, in his Symphony No. 48, Haydn used the horns as “replacement trumpets,” instructing them to play an octave higher than usual. The horns strike a flamboyant note in Haydn’s symphonies, which is probably why an anonymous copyist of No. 59 dubbed it the “Fire” Symphony. The Symphony No. 31, “Horn Signal” gives its name to this thirteenth volume in the Haydn 2032 series. The four horns ring out majestically and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico perform this music in their characteristically impetuous style under the direction of Giovanni Antonini.