For a part-time composer Ordonez was surprisingly prolific. In addition to his two operatic works - a marionette opera, Musica della Parodie d'Alceste and a Singspiel, Diesmal hat der Mann den Willen - Ordonez is known to have composed a significant amount of church music (now lost), a secular cantata, 73 symphonies, a violin concerto and a large corpus of chamber music of which the 27 authenticated string quartets are of particular importance. Ordonez's sophisticated experiments with cyclic unity and his liking for contrapuntal textures gives much of his music a very distinctive and original quality. His symphonies were widely disseminated in manuscript copies and Abb Stadler noted that they "received great applause".
The present work is listed in the famous Quartbuch catalogue and must have been composed no later than 1775, the generally agreed date for the latestknown works in this catalogue. Only a single set of parts for the work survives - in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena - and it provides few if any additional clues regarding the composition date. The wrapper reads: "in A / Sinfonia / a / 2 Violini / 2 Oboe / 2 Corni / Viola e Basso [incipit] / Del Sig: Carlo D'Ordonez". The incipit consists of the opening two bars of the first violin part marked "Allo: piú Presto", and, beneath, in a new hand, "Con Franchezza". This second direction is found in all the parts.
In the absence of the autograph score or an authentic set of the parts, the edition seeks to present 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, markings have been reconstructed from parallel passages. These are indicated by the use of dotted slurs or brackets where appropriate. Like most eighteenth-century sources, the Estense 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.