The orchestra playing Haydn’s Symphony no. 94 creates variations of the opening theme by leading melodies with different instruments. The symphony opens with oboes, bassoons, and strings. Then, the composer adds flutes while the strings change movements. The transition from the quiver to the chromatic movement also creates variations. Moreover, the changes in dominant musical keys are also significant and add up complexity to the introduction.
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The symphony is called Surprise due to a particular second movement. The Andante second movement’s generally smooth flow of music gets suddenly interrupted by a loud chord. This unexpected fortissimo comes at the end of a piano phrase and creates the effect of surprise. Although this feature was not in the original score, the symphony is now famous for this unexpected change in music’s loudness.
Any listener could hear a surprise in the second movement. A dynamic change in the loudness creates this sensation. This effect is achieved through pianissimo pizzicato strings repeating the first eight bars being suddenly interrupted by the surprise chord. It imitates the impact of some unexpected explosion and creates an unanticipated disturbance in a listener who is drifting inside the pianissimo music.
The symphony is scored for strings and woodwind instruments. They include flutes, oboes, bassoons. Moreover, symphony presupposes the use of such brass instruments as horns and trumpets. Finally, one could also hear percussion instruments in the musical score of the symphony. All the instruments play their part and create the overall effect of the symphony that has been charming listeners for more than two centuries.
Haydn’s Symphony no. 94 is an excellent example of the classical symphony. It includes various features that reflect the wide range of musical techniques and musical power. Moreover, it is rich in ideas and attracts listeners with its simple motifs and multiple playful variations. This symphony’s music reminds people of careless times, playfulness, and freedom.