The present work was written sometime between 1773-1779 and is one of Dittersdorf 's most impressive works of the period. The gripping Adagio opening - unaccountably headed Andantino in some sources has a weight and intensity which is rarely found outside Haydn's 'Sturm und Drang' works of the early 1770s although the remainder of this remarkable symphony is written in an exuberant D major. A copy of the work preserved in the Národní Muzeum Prague under the shelfmark XI.C.31 is titled "Symphonia in D Elegans"; its lack of currency, however, suggests that it was a local title and not one of the composer's own.
This edition is based on a set of manuscript parts now preserved in The British Library (R.M.21.a.13.(3.)). In the absence of both the autograph score and an authentic set of parts, the edition presents as faithfully as possible the intentions of the composer as transmitted in this source.
The style and notation of articulation and dynamic markings have been standardised throughout, and, where missing, reconstructed from parallel passages. These are indicated by the use of dotted slurs or brackets where appropriate. Like most eighteenth-century sources, the present manuscript is inconsistent in its notation of appoggiature; these too have been standardised to minimise confusion. Obvious wrong notes have been corrected without comment; editorial emendations with no authority from the source are placed within brackets.