The first movement of Symphony No 78 has an urgency in keeping with its key, C minor. The second subject turns to the relative major, E flat, and it this key rather than the tonic that ultimately dominates the exposition. The development features some fine contrapuntal writing where fragments of both subjects are tossed between the various instruments. The Adagio returns to E flat major. Unlike the slow movements of the other two symphonies, the wind instruments are integrated lnto the texture from the start, while the stateliness of the music itself looks forward to the late ‘London’ symphonies. The C major Minuet is followed by a Presto rondo whose thinly scored B section turns to C major. When the same theme reappears later, so does the major mode, which remains to the end of the symphony.
from notes by Matthew Rye © 1991