3 Symphonies, op 33

Drey grosse Sinfonien, op 33

Title page of Wranitzky's op. 33 Symphonies as published by André in 1798
Title page of Wranitzky's op. 33 Symphonies as published by André in 1798
André of Offenbach, Wranitzky's main publisher, published this set of three symphonies as Op. 33 in 1798. Wranitzky dedicated the symphonies to Baron Peter von Braun, manager of the Viennese court theatres.

Op. 33, No. 1

This symphony represents a reserved approach to the Classical symphony. The primary and secondary areas are clearly articulated, and the development makes great use of several motives introduced in the exposition. Particularly fascinating about the first movement is Wranitzky's simultaneous use of contrasting rhythms. Here he successfully weaves together dotted rhythms, syncopated rhythms, and triplet figures that create a rich, yet discernible texture.

In the second movement, a serenade in rondo form, the woodwinds and the strings engage in a series of call and responses. A pastoral mood is evoked by the use of muted horns providing a distanced echo of the woodwind responses.

The arpeggiated figure of the trio, a Mannheim rocket, clearly comes from the opening figure of the first movement, a testament that Wranitzky focused on integrating motives across movements.

Closing the symphony is a clearly articulated rondo finale that uses playful, short motives and phrases. Wranitzky also incorporates a call and response technique between the strings and the winds, harkening back to the second movement.

Op. 33, No. 2

The broad musical gestures of the opening movement of the second symphony seem to indicate a more dramatic approach. This stands to reason since Wranitzky is borrowing material from his overture to the play Siri Brahe (1794). The use of some distant modulations, something not encountered in the previous symphony, and the use of hammerstrokes add to the theatricality of the movement.

The second movement features balanced phrasing and a simple approach to sonata form. In the development section, tirades presented in the strings evoke the dramatic quality encountered in the first movement. The Menuet and Trio begins with a rising arpeggio figure that began the second movement and can be considered an inversion of the descending arpeggio motive that opens the symphony.

The finale begins surprisingly with a rustic slow introduction from the overture to Wranitzky's ballet, Die Weinlese (1794) . In the subsequent sonata-form Allegro, Wranitzky makes great use of the motives throughout the development, particularly concluding the development and leading into the recapitulation.

Op. 33, No. 3

The third and final symphony of this set is by far the grandest. The expansive opening movement features independent writing for the winds, sudden and dramatic modulations, and effective use of limited motives. Wranitzky's ability to execute a durchbrochene Arbeit technique of composition is clearly demonstrated in the development.

Greater weight is placed on the slow movement of this symphony than in the previous two. Rather than using a typical serenade approach, here Wranitzky presents the theme of Freut euch des Lebens (composed by H.G. Nägeli in 1795) and then surrounds it with varying musical backdrops. One interesting feature is the juxtaposition of the lyrical melody against fanfares and bugle calls in the trumpets and timpani. More than a simple set of theme and variations, this movement achieves moments of greatness similar to the music of Haydn.

The Menuetto and Trio follows the same overall approach as in the two preceeding works, with the menuetto representing a courtly dance and the trio representing more of a scherzo. This is magnified with the use of the popular folk tune, “Ach du lieber Augustin” as the subject for the trio.

The finale begins with a lighthearted and rhythmically simple theme one would associate with peasant dancing. A more dramatic character soon appears, as the full complement of winds is used as a Harmonie ensemble against the strings. The movement reaches its rousing conclusion - but not before some surprising harmonic turns, catchy phrases and surprisingly virtuoso writing for the second horn.

by John Stine, Daniel Bernhardsson & James Ackerman

Symphony in Bb, op 33 no 1

incipit
I. Allegro molto Listen to midi file of Movement
230 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
86 bars
III. Menuetto: Allegretto & Trio Listen to midi file of Movement
73+28 bars
IV. Finale: Allegro vivace Listen to midi file of Movement
343 bars

Scoring: 2 Vln, 2 Vla, Vcl, B, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bn, 2 Hn, 2 Clno, Timp
- Score and parts available upon request -

Symphony in C, op 33 no 2

incipit
I. Allegro maestoso Listen to midi file of Movement
260 bars
II. Adagio Listen to midi file of Movement
84 bars
III. Menuetto: Allegretto & Trio Listen to midi file of Movement
74+24 bars
IV. Finale: Andante - Allegro Listen to midi file of Movement
278 bars

Scoring: 2 Vln, 2 Vla, Vcl, B, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bn, 2 Hn, 2 Clno, Timp
- Score and parts available upon request -

Symphony in F, op 33 no 3

incipit
I. Andante - Allegro Vivace Listen to midi file of Movement
341 bars
II. Allegretto Listen to midi file of Movement
165 bars
III. Menuetto: Allegretto & Trio Listen to midi file of Movement
49+76 bars
IV. Allegro assai Listen to midi file of Movement
316 bars

Scoring: 2 Vln, 2 Vla, Vcl, B, 2 Fl, 2 Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Bn, 2 Hn, 2 Clno, Timp

Download: Full Score - Parts available upon request -
Edition by Daniel Bernhardsson


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