Joseph Haydn

Allegretto from “Military” Symphony

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Symphony No. 100, "Military", II. Allegretto, by Joseph Haydn, modern edition for wind ensemble by David Whitwell. The arrangement of the second movement for band by the composer himself was done on English paper and surfaced during the 1980s in a private collection in Sweden.

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Product Description

Sym­pho­ny Nr. 100, “Mil­i­tary,” II. Alle­gret­to
Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
Mod­ern edi­tion by David Whitwell (1937–)

Date: 1794
Instru­men­ta­tion: Wind Ensem­ble
Dura­tion: 3:50
Lev­el: 3

2 Oboes
2 Clar­inets
2 Bas­soons
2 Horns
Snare Drum
Bass Drum


This per­for­mance was giv­en at the North Ger­man Radio Stu­dios in Cologne in July 1989, by the Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, North­ridge Wind Ensem­ble, David Whitwell, Con­duc­tor, Ronald John­son, Guest Con­duc­tor.

Notes on the Haydn Allegretto

Haydn’s Sym­pho­ny Nr. 100 was com­posed for the Salomon con­certs in Eng­land in 1794. The arrange­ment of the sec­ond move­ment for band by the com­pos­er him­self was done on Eng­lish paper and sur­faced dur­ing the 1980s in a pri­vate col­lec­tion in Swe­den. This sym­pho­ny became known as the “Mil­i­tary” Sym­pho­ny in Eng­land due to the large per­cus­sion require­ments of the sec­ond and fourth move­ments. In addi­tion, the sec­ond move­ment of the sym­pho­ny is the only one with clar­inet parts, which, added to the per­cus­sion, made it an ide­al choice for a tran­scrip­tion when some­one in Eng­land appar­ent­ly request­ed one.

In the auto­graph score for the band ver­sion Haydn did not take the time to write out the per­cus­sion parts but only mere­ly wrote, “Mil­i­tary instru­ments.” In my edi­tion I have tak­en that to mean the use of the instru­ments he used in the sym­pho­ny itself and so they are iden­ti­cal here. It is also sig­nif­i­cant that Haydn care­ful­ly pre­served in the band man­u­script the fre­quent dots over melod­ic notes, which the read­er must under­stood meant an accent and had noth­ing to do with the mod­ern con­cept of stac­ca­to.

In Lon­don, when Haydn attempt­ed to con­duct dur­ing the first rehearsal—his own com­po­si­tion and a work no one had ever heard before—he caused hard feel­ings on the part of the “leader,” the first vio­lin­ist whose role in the era before mod­ern con­duc­tors was to pro­vide the tem­po for the orches­tra. A news­pa­per “war” ensued, pro and con, and among the con­trib­u­tors was the famous Charles Bur­ney, who wrote,

There is a cen­sure lev­eled at him…for mark­ing the mea­sure to his own new com­po­si­tion: but as even the old com­po­si­tions had nev­er been per­formed under his direc­tion, in this coun­try, till the last win­ter, it was sure­ly allow­able for him to indi­cate to the orches­tra the exact time in which he intend­ed the sev­er­al move­ments to be played, with­out offend­ing the leader or sub­al­terns of the excel­lent [orches­tra] which he had to con­duct.

David Whitwell
Austin, 2010