Movement 1: Allegretto
Movement 2: Andante
Movement 3: Menuet et Trio
Movement 4: Final
The simply planned slow movement is dominated by a long, beautiful theme on oboe d’amore, accompanied largely by muted strings. The theme is taken up by oboe, clarinet and flute (then, briefly, horn and trumpet), with other woodwind variants before the theme returns, above the rich string texture, to close the movement in a gentle C major. The minuet and trio is ostensibly in F major, but Françaix uses this old dance style merely as a structural ploy, for in many ways this is the most forward-looking movement in the symphony (especially in the Trio), full of delicate colours and subtle rhythmic emphasis. The lively Final is lucidly, but not always predictably, laid out, comprising statement, expanded counterstatement and coda. Texturally, it recollects the first movement, with a notable use of solo violin at important structural junctures. Haydn surely would have approved!
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2002