It was completed in 1788 as part of a three-symphony commission from Count d’Ogny for the Concert de la Loge Olympique, These are Symphonies No. 90-92.
The autograph manuscript bears a dedication to d’Ogny, but Haydn also gave Prince Krafft Ernst von Oettingen-Wallerstein a copy as if it were an original.
- flute, two oboes, two bassoons
- two horns
- continuo (harpsichord)
It is the last symphony that Haydn composed that is not scored for trumpets and timpani.
- Largo – Allegro assai, Eb major
- Andante in Bb major
- Minuet: Un poco allegretto, Eb major
- Vivace, Eb major
The first movement opens with a slow introduction which Haydn works into the opening allegro assai. The Allegro’s first theme is derived from an idea Haydn used in his cantata Arianna a Naxos, composed the same year. The theme is chromatic, legato and in two-part inverted counterpoint. The second theme is dance-like. Both the themes are closely linked with the opening largo.
The slow movement consists of a set of three variations on a theme. Listen to the bassoon and the accompanying string filigree in the first variation and the series of trills near the end of the movement.
The minuet includes a trio for the bassoon accompanied by plucked strings.
The finale opens quietly and builds gradually to a close.