Symphony No 16 is no less fascinating a work. Again in three movements, here they are more straightforward in layout, though no less striking in content. The first movement, for example, already shows Haydn’s penchant for monothematic symphonic movements, with the main contrapuntal theme of its opening providing all the motivic material he requires to produce a cogent and coherent Allegro. The slow movement for strings alone is by contrast much less intense and is marked by the doubling at a lower octave of the main violin theme by a solo cello throughout. The excitement returns with the 68 Presto finale, one of the first manifestations in his symphonies of Haydn’s predisposition to musical wit.
from notes by Matthew Rye © 1993