Room 34—answer

The reason it's called the "Surprise," is because of the loud chord about 33 seconds in. It probably woke up anyone in the audience that had been lulled to sleep. (Haydn also experimented in his string quartet, known as the "Joke" where a variety of false endings in the last movement try to get the audience to applaud before the end of the piece.)

OK, there's a great story that conductor Raymond Leppard tells about leading an orchestra in a symphony by Sir William Walton. At the end of the symphony are some large chords separated by silence. During the concert, an audience member who wasn't paying attention began to applaud in the silence after the first chord. After the second chord, he tried to make up for his mistake by shouting "Sorry!" That completely cracked up everyone.

Sorry we got away from the subject--did you figure out what form that the movement was written in? It was a theme and variations.

If you didn't get it, you may want to go back to the room that contains information about the variation form, or you may just want to hear the Haydn again. Listen!

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