We follow the development of the symphony with three works by Gabrieli and three early symphonies by Franz Joseph Haydn. All three works by Gabrieli in this concert come from his Sacrae Symphoniae, a larger work in which he began to shift the way in which musical color and orchestration was approached, a change which paved the way for the creation of the symphony.
The concert opens with Gabrieli’s Sonata Pian’e Forte, one of the first documented works to use dynamic markings. Symphony No. 6 “Le Matin” by Hayden is the first in a group of symphonies known as the Day Trilogy. Characterized by virtuosic writing across the entire orchestra, these are the first symphonies he composed after joining the court of Esterazy. Esterhazy notably provided Haydn with employment and a talented orchestra, stability that was uncommon for composers at the time, which allowed Haydn the freedoms to develop the symphony as we know it today.
Gabrieli’s Canzon Primi Toni displays the advancements he had made upon the polychoral techniques of his teachers. Haydn’s Symphony No. 7 “Le Midi” is the second in the Day Trilogy and includes solos for the principal players of each of the string sections. Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2, Gabrieli further advances instrumental composition by developing musical material in dialogue between groups. The program concludes with Haydn’s Symphony No. 8 “Le Soir”, the last in the Day Trilogy.