Symphony No 6 begins with a brief Adagio introduction that is undoubtedly meant to represent a sunrise (a foretaste, perhaps, of the similar passage in The Creation
). The ensuing Allegro immediately introduces the flute and oboes as soloists, but the slow movement takes on the guise of a miniature concerto for the violinist Tomasini and cellist Weigl—a concertante group accompanied by a ripieno body of strings—a deliberate throwback to the Italian Baroque—even the ideas recall the musical gestures of Corelli. More unusually, the trio to the Minuet features a duet for violone (double bass) and bassoon. The finale returns to the concerto grosso layout with concertante violin and cello and features a virtuosic display for the former at its centre.
from notes by Matthew Rye © 1991