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Haydn's Surprise

Theme from Symphony #94, 2nd Mvt.

By Franz Joseph Haydn

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Haydn's Surprise (Theme from Symphony #94, 2nd Mvt.). Composed by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). Arranged by John Caponegro. For string orchestra (88555) with optional 3rd violin/viola TC (3) and piano. Cadet String Orchestra Series. Grade 2. Score and set of parts. Duration 2 minutes, 50 seconds. Published by Kendor Music Inc (KN.9144).

Haydn's works often contained musical jokes, and the Surprise Symphony (#94) includes the most famous of all -- a sudden loud chord in the theme of the second movement after a tranquil opening. The music then returns to its original quiet dynamic, as if nothing had happened, and the ensuing variations do not repeat the joke. As the story goes, this "surprise" was meant to wake up anyone in the audience who had started to doze off. This version gives students with a great opportunity to listen for pitch accuracy on their F and C naturals. Duration 2:50.