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Authorship of 'Vanhal' symphonies Opp. 23 & 25

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:07 pm
by peedurr
I would be grateful if anyone has any ideas on the real authorship of the Op. 23 and Op. 25 symphonies attributed here to Vanhal. Grove dismisses all of Op.25 as 'non-authentic', and says that only Op. 23/4 of the earlier set is genuine Vanhal (it is genuine, it's the symphony a2, published as the second of the Op. 18 set in Paris in 1774).

I myself can't identify the actual composer(s) of any of the Op. 25 symphonies, but the second and third movements of Op 23/2 in E flat are identical (apart from no repeat marks) to the second and third movements of Rosetti's Op 3/4 in E flat, which would make this I think the symphony A23/I:5. (The Rosetti Op. 3 set is available here:,_Op.3_(Rosetti,_Antonio).) The first movement of Op 23/2 could also be by Rosetti, but that would imply two Rosetti symphonies sharing the same two final movements. The incipit of the symphony Op. 23/3 in C matches that of the symphony listed in Anthony van Hoboken's Joseph Haydn catalogue as I:C14 (the 14th C major symphony in the past incorrectly attributed to Haydn), and Sterkel is mentioned as a possible composer.

If anyone could suggest possible composers for any of these works it would be useful, I'm sure. I think these symphonies may be by a mixture of people, as they seem to possess quite different characters.

Re: Authorship of 'Vanhal' symphonies Opp. 23 & 25

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:43 am
by Sallen112
Maybe Mozart? Or Christoph Gluck possibly? Maybe some of the Sturm und Drang composers? C. P. E. Bach? J. C. Bach?

Re: Authorship of 'Vanhal' symphonies Opp. 23 & 25

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:47 pm
by tim.willis1685
Hi Peedur,

You might be interested to see some of the RISM entries for these individual symphonies which also exist in manuscript form. I did incipit searches of only the first movements of most of them - I'm sure there would be more to see if you searched every movement. It looks like Op.23 was also published as op.7 by Hummel, and op.25 as op.8 and 9 (in two groups of 3 - also by Hummel). Op.23/3 is attributed to Michael Haydn in one source, and like a few of his symphonies (I believe) was entered incorrectly into the catalogue of Josef Haydn's works. Interesting to see two of Op.23 attributed to Sterkel in a few sources, and several from op.25 are showing up as works by Dittersdorf. Op Anyway, here are the links, I hope it is useful to you.

Op.23/1. Sterkel Sterkel

Op.23/23. Michael Haydn Sterkel Sterkel


Op.25/1.slow movt. by Dittersdorf

Op.25/3 some movts by Dittersdorf

Op.25/5 Dittersdorf? Dittersdorf Sandel Dittersdorf Dittersdorf

Op.25/6 Sighicelli

Re: Authorship of 'Vanhal' symphonies Opp. 23 & 25

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:35 pm
by peedurr
Hi Tim,

That's very helpful information - thank you!