Symphony in D major, No. 93

I. Adagio – Allegro assai II. Largo cantabile III. Menuetto e trio: Allegro IV. Finale: Presto ma non troppo
The symphony was one of the most important genres of classical Viennese style. Haydn (1732-1809) was one of its towering masters, writing 104 in all: more than 40 in the 1760s, 25 in the 70s, 33 in the 80s and 12 in the 90s. This latter 12 were commissioned by the London impresario Johann Peter Salomon. For thirty five years, Haydn had been in the employment of Prince Nicholas Esterházy and when the Prince died, the news that Haydn was now a free agent caused Salomon to scuttle to Vienna where he invited him to London for a series of concerts. Haydn found himself landed with a new challenge. Hitherto he had composed for musically educated aristocrats, but in London, he had to address a wider audience. Haydn responded, using easily comprehensible melodies and surprise effects (such as the unexpected cheeky deep note on the bassoon in one of the episodes of the second movement of this symphony) to capture the attention of his new audience. These symphonies, however, offer a splendid summary of Haydn's symphonic oeuvre. The slow introductions to opening movements are frequently motifically connected to the material of the fast main movement, while final movements alternate sonata form with the accustomed rondo types. Haydn's minuets more resemble Austrian Ländler in their character. Haydn's first trip to London took place the year after he received Salomon's invitation, and the symphony No. 93 in D major was specially written for the occasion. It bears all the hallmarks of the new style London symphonies. The Times enthused about the symphony, praising its abundance of ideas and its charming atmosphere.