With its wide-leap melodic lines and syncopation, this symphony is characteristic of the Sturm und Drang style. It shares certain features with other Sturm und Drang symphonies of this time, and is likely inspired by Joseph Haydn‘s Symphony No. 39 which is likewise in G minor.
The work was first performed in the United States by the Boston Symphony Orchestra on October 27, 1899, under the direction of Wilhelm Gericke. It was not performed again in the U.S. until 1937, when rendered by the Alfred Wallenstein Sinfonietta. John Barbirolli and the New York Philharmonic performed it again in 1941 as part of their centennial season.