Joseph Haydn’s so-called Paris Symphonies were composed in 1785 and 1786 for the masonic lodge “Société Olympique” in Paris, which ran a large orchestra and organised regular concerts. These six works are notable for their artful motivic work and playful wit. Haydn here pays tribute both to the discerning taste of the Paris audience and to the excellent abilities of the musicians in the orchestra. These symphonies rapidly became famous and popular throughout Europe, thanks to editions published variously in Paris, Vienna and London. It is a matter of debate whether or not this Symphony no. 85, “La Reine” (“The Queen”), was really given its nickname because it was the favourite symphony of Marie-Antoinette. The name certainly did not stem from Haydn, but it was nevertheless stated on the title page of the edition published by Imbault in Paris as early as 1788.
This study edition reproduces the musical text of the Haydn Complete Edition, which is a guarantor of the finest scholarship. An informative preface and a brief critical report make this handy score an ideal companion for all Haydn fans, both present and future.