Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tricky Mr. Haydn

I'm still working my way through the Haydn box (up to CD 122!) and, indeed, still in the baryton trios. I was just listening to No. 28 in D and heard a minuet I have to share. Haydn delighted in putting both players and listeners off-balance and sometimes he would even do it in the usually very staid context of a minuet. Here is the third movement of the Baryton Trio No. 28 in D:

Now doesn't that sound weird? Sounds like they just stop and add a beat every now and then. Haydn creates this illusion by fooling you as to where the downbeat is:

Click to enlarge

If you notice, the first note is tied over from the third beat to the first so that you think that it is a half note on the downbeat. But no. You aren't quite sure where the downbeat us until the eighth measure. And then it starts all over again. 


Will Wilkin said...

My sight reading is held back by my weakness in recognizing rhythm in the notation, though I am slowly improving. I don't yet count time though I try to keep a pulse in a gentle swing in my body, and enough to approximate a doubling of the time for every flag added to a note. I'm sure I don't quite have the rhythm to use a downbeat properly. Still, I enjoyed "playing" the menuetto and trio in this page, but I'm sure the composer would say I hacked it badly. But for me, it was fun!

Bryan Townsend said...

I like these trios quite a lot!