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Dittersdorf (1739-1799) was one of the most prolific and versatile of Haydn's and Mozart's Viennese contemporaries. He wrote fluently and attractively in all genres and his symphonies, of which there are over a hundred, reveal a wealth of novel solutions to the problems of form and a subversive wit that bears comparison only with Haydn's. Among Dittersdorf's most original works are his programmatic symphonies and this volume includes three exceptionally interesting examples: Il delirio delli compositori, ossia Il gusto d'oggidi ('The Delirium of the Composers; or the Taste of Today', a brilliant spoof on the Sturm und Drang style); Il Combattimento delle passioni umani ('The Battle of the Human Passions', a more conventional subject but nonetheless treated with great flair and insight by the composer) and the Sinfonia nazionale nel gusto di cinque nazioni ('Symphony in the Taste of Five Nations', an essay in musical criticism as much as satire). All three abound in brilliant orchestral writing and quirky, infectious melodies.