Haydn's 98th symphony was one of a number of symphonies composed whilst he was staying in London, performing weekly concerts organised by Salomon (after whom the set of symphonies is sometimes named). The concerts promised a new composition each week, of which the 97th, 98th and 103rd are all examples. (Whilst in England, he also received an honourary doctorate in music from Oxford.)
The presto finale of the symphony is in sonata allegro form, with short passages for solo violin (originally played by Salomon) repeated in the orchestra. It also features the one and only symphonic keyboard solo that Haydn wrote, in the premiere played by himself, and remarked upon by one Samuel Wesley who happened to be in the audience:
"In the Finale of one of his Symphonies is a Passage of attractive Brilliancy, which he has given to the Piano Forte, and which the Writer of this Memoir remembers him to have executed with the utmost Accuracy and Precision."
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