Tag Archives: Haydn symphony no. 6 (“Le matin”)

Haydn, symphony No. 6 in D major (“Le matin”)



This splendid symphony starts out — in the first movement, which is marked “Adagio – Allegro” — so quietly you can barely hear it.

The reason: the sun is rising! (Which is why the symphony is nicknamed “Le matin.”)

The music increases in volume as the sun “rises.”

I was intrigued to learn from a biography of Haydn which I read a long time ago that he grew up in rather humble circumstances and that he must have known and appreciated nature from boyhood.

I don’t think Haydn — great and prolific as he was, as admired as he was and is by his contemporaries and by music historians and connoisseurs — gets enough credit or attention nowadays. He practically invented the symphony and the string quartet. In his later years, he wrote splendid masses and oratorios, having been inspired by the example of Handel.




Also posted here is “In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne strahlend auf” (In splendor bright is rising now the sun) from Haydn’s monumental oratorio Die Schöpfung (The Creation). This section starts out with the same musical depiction of the sun rising in splendor.






See also my posts of three of Haydn’s masses at:

Haydn, “Mass in Time of War”

Haydn, “Schöpfungsmesse” (Creation Mass)

Haydn, “Theresienmesse” (mass in B flat major)


— Roger W. Smith

   December 2017