The Opus 76 quartets were published in 1799, when Haydn was well over 60 years old. Almost immediately he was commissioned to write another set by Prince Lobkowltz, a wealthy pa¬tron, who was later to become an Important figure in Beethoven’s life. Two quartets only were completed and published as Opus 77 Nos. 1 & 2 in 1802. But these are not the works of an old man whose powers arc fading, or who simply consolidates ground already cov¬ered. Once again Haydn Innovates. The opening movement of Opus 77 No. 2 is as struc¬turally complex and emotionally unsettling as anything he ever wrote, alternating between a laconic opening theme and a tense and threatening counter theme which comes to domi¬nate the whole movement. Both quartets have fast scherzo-like “minuets”. The slow move¬ment of No. 1 is in traditional variation form, but stretches the form to the limit in order to accommodate widely contrasting textures and moods. The finale of No. 2 is swept along by a seemingly Inexhaustible stream of energy and inventiveness.
In fact, Haydn began a third quartet in this set, but never finished it, and the two completed movements were published in 1806 as Opus 103, his last published work. He was over 70, and clearly lacked the strength to continue composition. The two existing movements arc a 8low movement followed by a minuet. The slow movement has a quiet warmth, but It is the minuet that is remarkable. It is in true dance time, unlike the fast quasi-scherzos of the earlier quartets. But what a dancel In a sombre D minor Haydn unfolds an angular, ruth¬less little dance of death. The central trio section holds out a moment of consolation, and then the dance returns, sweeping on relentlessly to the final sudden uprush of sound. And then, after more than 40 years of composition the master falls silent.
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them In Boxes 30-32 on your answer sheet.
- Which one of the following statements Is true?
A Haydn wrote the London Symphony In England
B Wc do not know where Haydn wrote the London Symphony
C Haydn wrote the London Symphony in Vienna
D Haydn wrote the Drum Roll Symphony in England
- Like symphonies 103 and 104, the oratorios and masses were …
A written in the eighteenth century
B for the public
C as emotional as the quartets
D full of religious feeling
- The string quartets in Opus 76 and Opus 77 were …
A the cause of a spiritual crisis
B intimate yet capable
C calm unease
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