Of these symphonies (Nos 73, 74 and 75) only one, No 73, has any definite link with prince Nikolaus. The prince had been particularly impressed with Haydn’s opera La fedeltà premiata (‘Fidelity Rewarded’), first performed in February 1781 to reopen the opera house at Eszterháza which had burned down the previous winter. The symphony borrows the original overture to the opera for its finale, and it seems quite likely that Haydn assembled the work to celebrate the prince’s return from a trip to Paris later in 1781, welcoming him home with a surprise reworking of one of Nikolaus’s favourite pieces—an affectionate rather than sycophantic touch. The music of the slow movement was also borrowed, this time from one of Haydn’s German Lieder, Gegenliebe (published at around the same time). The subtitle ‘La Chasse’ properly only applies to the finale. Haydn was himself a keen huntsman and made use of a then famous hunting call for the wind band solos that follow the introduction.
from notes by Matthew Rye © 1990