Mozart 's Symphonies Were More Single And Special

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Widely distributed, Haydn 's symphonies challenged his contemporaries and aroused his juniors — notably Mozart, whose first important symphonies date from the mid-1770s: the ‘Little’ G minor and No.29 in A. Haydn went on producing two or three symphonies a year, whether for his Esterházy patrons or for the new public concerts in Paris (Nos.82–7, 1785–6) and London (Nos.93–104, 1791–5). The rise of the symphony was accelerated by the arrival of public concert-giving, and several of Haydn 's contemporaries, among them Canna- bich and Gossec, were also vigorously active in these years of their comparative maturity. Mozart 's symphonies were more single and special, promp- ted by concerts in Paris (No.31, 1778), Linz (No.36, 1783), Prague…show more content…
In the ‘Eroica’ (No.3, 1803–4) Beethoven created an opening movement as long as an entire Haydn symphony. He also made the symphony not only more imposing but more directly personal. Where Haydn 's symphonies share feelings, intimations and jokes with their audience, Beethoven 's state, give and address. And where Mozart wrote a symphony when he had to give a concert, Beethoven put on a concert when he had a symphony to impart. Beethoven was surely also the first composer to view his symphonies as a cycle, a set making up a larger composition. Yet each work was different: the elusive Fourth (1806), the intensely dramatic Fifth (1804–8), with its insistent opening image and its drive from the scherzo right through into the finale, the pictorial ‘Pastoral’ (1807–8), the spa- cious Seventh (1811–12), the compact and humorous Eighth (1812), and then the Ninth (1817–23), unprecedented in drawing the voices of pan-human celebration into the substance of the symphony. Most of Beethoven 's contemporaries were amazed into silence — or have been silenced by the judgement of history: the outstanding exception is Schubert, who discovered a symphonic mastery all his own in his ‘Unfinished’ (1822) and ‘Great C major '(1825). For those who came after, Beethoven was the single, unavoidable and awesome model, to which they could respond with either a new classicism or a wild Romantic leap: on the one hand
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