When the busy round of Concerts, Operas and rehearsals became too much for Saint-Saens, he went off to Africa or India, or the Canary Islands, sometimes causing a good deal of anxiety by disappearing completely for some time, leaving no address.
He was particularly fond of Algeria and Egypt, and this Suite contains reminiscences of his travels in North Africa.
There are four Movements: (1) Prelude; (2) Moorish Rhapsody; (3) Evening Revery; (4) French Military March.
Haydn was fond of London and twice came over to conduct some of his works-and incidentally to be feted and have a thoroughly good time.
This Symphony, the 104th in the latest list of Haydn's Symphonies, was first heard in 1795, when he (then aged sixty-three) had a benefit concert. In style and power the music looks forward to Beethoven.
The First Movement opens with a slow Introduction, which, very effectively, is in the Minor key, the quick main body of the Movement being in the Major. Its first main tune is a natty, lively one, which Haydn apparently liked so well that he used it as the second main tune also-quite an unusual thing to do. There is a brief new tune, but it can scarcely be called a main one.
The Second Movement, the slow one, is an Air with two variations.
The usual Minuet follows-a typical Haydn dance Movement.
The Finale is quick and spirited.
In its opening drone bass, like the tune of a shepherd's pipe, it recalls Haydn's love of peasant music.