For these three little-known but most engaging symphonies, written in 1782–3, Nicholas Ward could hardly be more persuasive. The colourful charm of Haydn’s scoring in the B flat Symphony is most sensitively caught, the Vivace opening of No. 78 in C minor is highly dramatic, while both slow movements are eminently graceful. The Minuets, though not rushed, are suitably spirited and finales are deft and lively, especially the winning monothematic Presto of the C minor work, which includes some of the composer’s genial pauses.
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