Tablet - Portrait

Tablet - Landscape


Franz Joseph Haydn

A simple, gracious theme provides the main matter of this sonata's opening Allegro innocente. Haydn wrote the sonata for and dedicated it to Princess Marie Esterházy, which probably accounts for both the nobility and directness of the music. Mild contrast comes from material that dallies with the minor mode, but it is strongly related to the primary theme. In effect, the entire movement is a set of variations on the opening subject, the variations growing increasingly ornate as the music progresses, but never becoming really virtuosic or flashy. The second movement of this two-part sonata is a saucy Presto that races along like an old Keystone Kops movie, complete with abrupt halts and comic little spills. The middle section hints at the minor mode and develops a little more honest passion, but the opening material keeps intruding and eventually takes completely over, now even more highly ornamented (and faster) than before.