The opening of Haydn's Symphony No. 39 in G minor is interrupted by two unusually long grand pauses. These brief suspensions of the time continuum reveal Haydn's search for new narrative strategies for a genre caught up in the tensions between the boisterous concert opener, courtly representation, the bourgeois concert hall and the demands of "connoisseurs." This use of the Generalpause points toward a period of upheaval in the development of symphonic forms in the 18th century. A comparative analysis examining the primarily "punctuated" concept of form in the 18th century in relation to the primarily thematic concept of form in the 19th century and the synthesis of both in the writings of Anton Reicha can show that the process of developing formal functions becomes especially acute in Haydn's Symphony No. 39, with the two grand pauses playing a key role. Such a reading of Haydn, which seeks to reconcile "historically informed" analysis with emphatic interpretation, illustrates how the spectacular grand pauses in the Symphony No. 39 can suggest a brief suspension of not only the work's own immanent time but the historical time of 18th-century music history.
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