Franz Joseph Haydn (1932-1809).
Haydn wrote the symphony for Easter week. H. C. Robbins Landon has dated it to 1768 (possibly 1769). In the absence of the original autograph, it is impossible to verify the date of composition although this dating is consistent with the work’s appearance in the Entwurf Katalog (Haydn’s own catalogue of his works).
It is an early example of the Sturm und Drang style that characterised much of his symphonic output to 1774 or 1775. Since Haydn’s day, the symphony has been known as “Lamentatione” because of the Christus motif of the opening movement’s second theme. As with all the nicknamed symphonies, the title is not Haydn’s own.
Because of its association with Easter week, Haydn incorporates a melody derived from an old plainsong chant of the Passion of Christ, interpolating (as the second theme) this familiar liturgical setting to contrast with the furious opening theme. The symphony’s link to the Passion through evocation of a melody that would have been familiar to audiences of the time.