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String Quartet in D minor H.III Op.76 No.2
Franz Joseph Haydn Lyrics

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The lyrics can frequently be found in the comments below or by filtering for lyric videos.
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Elaine Blackhurst

The ‘Fifths’ nickname comes from the almost obsessive use of the falling fifth interval throughout the first movement, not the slow movement.

There are however, a number of Haydn studies that have shown that the composer sometimes ‘through-composed’ works ie different movements of a work shared common rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and/or motivic features.
In this quartet, the fifth motif is evident in one form or another throughout all four movements.

In this quartet, ‘Fifths’ is a useful nickname to aid listeners in understanding the composer’s intense, concentrated and ingenious development of this particular motif, a compositional technique very common in Haydn and later Beethoven who adopted many of Haydn’s compositional techniques - an obvious example being the motif that opens his 5th symphony.

This preoccupation with often tiny motifs is markedly less evident in Mozart; it is a fundamental difference between Haydn (and Beethoven), and Mozart.

Elaine Blackhurst

@Rabbi Barry Kornblau
Apologies, I have only just spotted this.

You can search analyses of Opus 76 - or indeed Opus 71/74, or Opus 77 - quite easily, but some of the points to note would be:
- Structural advances - variation and fugue for example;
- Wide ranging tonal experimentation;
- Quartets designed for public, not private performance - hence bigger sounding and less intimate works.
- The compositional technique is far closer to Beethoven than to Mozart; not just early Beethoven, but mature Beethoven; for example, building extended musical structures from small motivic cells;
- experimentation with form other than sonata form;
- Et cetera.

In terms of this quartet, right from the opening figure of the falling fifth, the obsessive and concentrated working of the motif throughout is truly ingenious in a manner of composition totally different to that of Mozart - note ‘different’ not better or worse!
The Minuet is a million miles away from Mozart - it is strikingly modern pointing the way to later Beethoven.
There are aspects of through-composition (the falling fifth or variant) which appear in all four movements - this is never found in Mozart but became increasingly common in Haydn, even much earlier Haydn.
In later German music it became known as a leitmotif- the origins of this are to be found here.

As a general point about Mozart and Haydn, one of the features that separates them from almost all their contemporaries is the continuous development as composers year on year.

This is a key reason why Haydn moved beyond his great friend who died in 1791 was that he carried on composing until about 1803 (and lived until 1809); in those twelve years, it was inevitable that Haydn would continue to develop his musical language - in fact the language of music more generally.

Opus 76 is a good example of how Haydn actually did this; as is in another area, the Representation of Chaos from The Creation which in terms of its shifting, unresolving tonalities is proto-Wagnerian; it is the most audacious, and harmonically adventurous music written in the 18th century.

Hope that helps.

All comments from YouTube:

Calista Lu

6:50 2nd movement
12:38 3rd movement
15:56 4th movement


Thank you so much mate!

Tony Musiker


Gabriella Cariddo

The beginning had me instantly thinking of Mozart’s string quartet in d minor. Probably the opening eighth notes in the second violin and viola reminded me of it. Its so cool to look at the score and see how composers of the same era influenced each other. Thanks for the upload- what a gem of a composition!

Veronica connolly

I thought the same


Mozart's d minor is one among six quartets dedicated to Haydn which he composed to honour (and impress) his musical father figure. He thoroughly studied Haydns quartets before he composed it as well. Maybe the similarity is intentionally put in by Haydn (also considering the key signature) to honour Mozart, who died a couple of years earlier, in return :)

Robert W Palmer

Good to have the score so we can see how Haydn is thinking the music.

Rick Shafer

Stunning.I love how Haydn makes a robust piece out of four instruments of the same kind.

Connor Knight

@Hayden wrong spelling = wrong guy


@Timothy Thorne thanks man you're too kind <3

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