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IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ‘JOSEPH HAYDN FOUNDATION’ - BASEL
‘Symphony No. 49 is of dramatic inspiration, as is the finale of the 39th (with four horns!) in a fairly “Gluckist” style. We are at the beginnings of Sturm und Drang.
‘The first performance of Gluck’s ballet Don Juan, in Vienna in 1761, was an outstanding event in the development of dramatic expression in music. This was the first “modern” ballet, featuring dancers illustrating the story, not through a pre-established dance form (minuet, gavotte, etc.) but through free expression of their bodies.
‘I am truly captivated by the very strong correspondence existing in Gluck’s score between the story of Don Juan (the dancers’ movements) and the music, like a sort of little dictionary of musical gestures, with elements that are to be found in purely instrumental music of the period, including Haydn’s.
‘Yet it was in the 1760s (thus after the first performance of Gluck’s Don Juan) that Haydn began his first “dramatic” symphonies. ‘So I find it very interesting to bring together this piece by Gluck and these symphonies.’