Two months after the premiere of Symphony No 102, the Prince of Wales (later George IV) married the Princess of Brunswick and among a whole string of musical events to celebrate the occasion was an elaborate masque, Windsor Castle, composed by Salomon and staged at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, during April 1795. Unusually, the overture for these performances was not by Salomon but by Haydn (though Salomon later added one of his own). This ‘Overture to an English Opera’, as it came to be known, drew admiration in its own right and Haydn later used it for his then unperformed Orpheus opera, L’anima del filosofo (1791, originally intended for London performance that year)—indeed, considering the similarity of themes in the overture and opera, it may well date back to the time of the opera itself. The overture is in what was to become the standard form of a slow introduction leading to a fast main section, here a joyous C major Presto.
from notes by Matthew Rye © 1992