Movement 1: Adagio – Allegro assai
Movement 2: Largo cantabile
Movement 3: Menuetto – Trio: Allegro
Movement 4: Finale: Presto ma non troppo
The minuet, drawing maximum capital from its first three notes, is one of Haydn’s most muscular and theatrical, while its trio sets aggressive military tattoos on wind and brass against the strings’ mysterious excursions into distant keys. There is no trace here of the stylized rusticity found in all the other trios of the ‘London’ symphonies. After the premiere Haydn informed Frau von Genzinger that No 93’s finale was ‘too weak’ in relation to the opening movement and needed altering. Whether or not he ever did revise it, the finale as we know it is one of the wittiest and most powerful he ever wrote, culminating (after an ostentatiously self-important general pause) in a coda of rowdy hilarity. With a gleeful display of rhythmic and harmonic trickery, Haydn repeatedly thwarts expectation of a full recapitulation. He also plays his characteristic games with the main theme’s upbeat quavers, at one point setting the thunderous power of the full orchestra against a lone cello.
from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2009