Waldstein, Ferdinand Graf von


Waldstein, Ferdinand Graf von

Symphony in D

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Ferdinand Graf von Waldstein – Symphony in D

(b. Duchov, 24. March 1762 – d. Vienna, 26. May 1823)

First Movement p.1
Second Movement p.14
Third Movement p.18

Preface (by Blaine Brubaker, 2018)
Count Ferdinand Ernst Joseph Gabriel Waldstein und Wartenberg zu Dux, best known as Ludwig van Beethoven’s patron, was born in Duchov, Bohemia, to a noble family, enabling him to obtain a well-rounded and robust education that included music. As a member of the Teutonic Order, a Christian military, Waldstein received orders in 1788 to stay in the court of Elector Maximilian Franz in Bonn where he met the young and upcoming Beethoven. Waldstein became Beethoven’s earliest and most important musical patron there. Due to his education in music, Waldstein recognized the young man’s talent, stating, “…With the help of assiduous labor you shall receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands.” He supported Beethoven’s composing until the early 1790s, supposedly helping the composer to develop his ability to improvise variations. Waldstein’s friendship was instrumental in establishing Beethoven in Vienna when he left Bonn in 1792.

The manuscript of Waldstein’s Sinfonie in D was found in Bonn, so it is assumed to have been composed there sometime between 1788 and 1794 before he left to work as a field marshal in the British army in 1795. The symphony includes both trumpets and timpani, the tuning of which likely dictated the work’s key, D major. Currently, the date and location of the premiere is unknown, and it is possible that the Sinfonie was never in fact performed, since separated instrumental parts have never been found. The instrumentation of the work varies in each movement, but the largest instrumentation implements the standard classical orchestra: violins, violas, cellos, double basses, flutes, oboes, horns, trumpets, and timpani. The scoring of Sinfonie in D is also characteristic of the classical symphony with the strings in four-part scoring and the wind instruments in pairs. The Galant style of the eighteenth century prevails heavily within this work with syncopation, slow-moving harmonic rhythm, repeated-note bass line, and the use of subdominant harmonies.

The Sinfonie in D is written in three movements, following the fast-slow-fast convention. The first movement is written in rounded binary form, has a tempo marking of allegro, and uses common time. Waldstein asserts the tonality of D major by beginning his symphony’s exposition with a fanfare motive created through a deconstructed D-major triad. There is also an emphasis on the oboe in the lyrical second theme of the exposition, a trend that occurs throughout the entire symphony. Waldstein’s use of grand pauses, a characteristic reflective of Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 33, No. 2, brings a pleasing surprise to the middle of the movement after heavy dissonances and allows a more exciting transition back to consonance…


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Score No.



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210 x 297 mm