Evening Masterwork: Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 45 in f# “Farewell”

Symphony No. 45 in f# minor “Farewell” by Franz Joseph Haydn

Evening Masterwork for June 26, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

Franz Joseph Haydn’s 45th Symphony, the “Farewell” Symphony, is one of the more theatrical and problem-solving symphonies from the 18th century… At the very end of the symphony, after a short pause, an unexpected adagio begins. During the first performance, when the orchestra got to this section of the piece, each player got up and left the stage upon finishing their part until only two violinists remained… One of them being Haydn himself. At the time, Haydn was Kapellmeister to Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy which meant he led the resident orchestra: The Symphony No. 45 was Haydn’s creative solution to demands from the orchestra’s musicians to go back home to their families – and it worked. After an especially long season in 1772, the Prince gave the musicians their leave.