A concerto (/kənˈtʃɛərtoʊ/; plural concertos, or concerti from the Italian plural) is a musical composition generally composed of three movements, in which, usually, one solo instrument (for instance, a piano, violin, cello or flute) is accompanied by an orchestra or concert band. It is accepted that its characteristics and definition have changed over time. In the 17th century, sacred works for voices and orchestra were typically called concertos, as reflected by J. S. Bach's usage of the title "concerto" for many of the works that we know as cantatas.
The word concerto comes from Italian; its etymology is uncertain, but it seems to originate from the conjunction of two Latin words: conserere (meaning to tie, to join, to weave) and certamen (competition, fight). The idea is that the two parts in a concerto—the soloist and the orchestra or concert band—alternate between episodes of opposition, cooperation, and independence to create a sense of flow.
The concerto, as understood in this modern way, arose in the Baroque period, in parallel to the concerto grosso, which contrasted a small group of instruments called a concertino with the rest of the orchestra, called the ripieno. The popularity of the concerto grosso declined after the Baroque period, and the genre was not revived until the 20th century. The solo concerto, however, has remained a vital musical force from its inception to this day.
The term "concerto" was initially used to denote works that involved voices and instruments in which the instruments had independent parts—as opposed to the Renaissance common practice in which instruments that accompanied voices only doubled the voice parts. Examples of this earlier form of concerto include Giovanni Gabrieli's "In Ecclesiis" or Heinrich Schütz's "Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich".
The concerto began to take its modern shape in the late-Baroque period, beginning with the concerto grosso form popularized by Arcangelo Corelli. Corelli's concertino group was two violins and a cello. In J. S. Bach's Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, for example, the concertino is a flute, a violin, and a harpsichord; the harpsichord sometimes plays with the ripieno, as opposed to playing a continuo keyboard accompaniment.
Later, the concerto approached its modern form, in which the concertino usually reduces to a single solo instrument playing with (or against) an orchestra. The main composers of concertos of the baroque were Tommaso Albinoni, Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Pietro Locatelli, Giuseppe Tartini, Francesco Geminiani and Johann Joachim Quantz. The concerto was intended as a composition typical of the Italian style of the time, and all the composers were studying how to compose in the Italian fashion (all'Italiana).
The Baroque concerto was mainly for a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, seldom viola d'amore or harp) or a wind instrument (flute, recorder, oboe, bassoon, horn, or trumpet,). Bach also wrote a concerto for two violins and orchestra. During the Baroque period, before the invention of the piano, keyboard concertos were comparatively rare, with the exception of the organ and some harpsichord concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. As the harpsichord evolved into the fortepiano, and in the end to the modern piano, the increased volume and the richer sound of the new instrument allowed the keyboard instrument to better compete with a full orchestra. Cello concertos have been written since the Baroque era, if not earlier. Among the works from that period, those by Antonio Vivaldi and Giuseppe Tartini are still part of the standard repertoire today.
It is conventional to state that the first movements of concertos from the Classical period onwards follow the structure of sonata form. Final movements are often in rondo form, as in J.S. Bach's E Major Violin Concerto.
Mozart wrote five violin concertos, all in 1775. They show a number of influences, notably Italian and Austrian. Several passages have leanings towards folk music, as manifested in Austrian serenades. Mozart also wrote the highly regarded Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, and orchestra.
Haydn wrote at least two cello concertos (for cello, oboes, horns, and strings), which are the most important works in that genre of the classical era. However, C. P. E. Bach's three cello concertos and Boccherini's twelve concertos are also noteworthy.
C.P.E. Bach's keyboard concertos contain some virtuosic solo writing. Some of them have movements that run into one another without a break, and there are frequent cross-movement thematic references.
Mozart, as a child, made arrangements for keyboard and orchestra of four sonatas by now little-known composers. Then he arranged three sonata movements by Johann Christian Bach. By the time he was twenty, Mozart was able to write concerto ritornelli that gave the orchestra admirable opportunity for asserting its character in an exposition with some five or six sharply contrasted themes, before the soloist enters to elaborate on the material. Of his 27 piano concertos, the last 22 are highly appreciated.
A dozen cataloged keyboard concertos are attributed to Haydn, of which only three or four are considered genuine.
C. P. E. Bach wrote four flute concertos and two oboe concertos.
Bohemian composer Francesco Antonio Rosetti composed several solo and double horn concertos. He was a significant contributor to the genre of horn concertos in the 18th century. Most of his outstanding horn concertos were composed between 1782 and 1789 for the Bohemian duo Franz Zwierzina and Joseph Nage while at the Bavarian court of Oettingen-Wallerstein. One of his best-known works in this genre is his Horn Concerto in E flat major C49/K III:36. It consists of three movements: 1. Allegro moderato 2. Romance 3. Rondo.
Many common features of the galant style are present in Rosetti's music and composing style. In his E-flat horn concerto, we hear periodic and short phrases, galant harmonic rhythm and melodic line reduction. Rosetti's influence on the 18th century composers, musicians and music was considerable. At the Bavarian court of Oettingen-Wallerstein, his music was often performed by the Wallerstein ensembles. In Paris, his compositions were performed by the best ensembles of the city, including the orchestra of the Concert Spirituel. His publishers were Le Menu et Boyer and Sieber. According to H. C. Robbins Landon (Mozart scholar), Rosetti's horn concertos might have been a model for Mozart's horn concertos.
Mozart wrote one concerto each for flute, oboe (later rearranged for flute and known as Flute Concerto No. 2), clarinet, and bassoon, four for horn, a Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra, and Exsultate, jubilate, a de facto concerto for soprano voice. They all exploit and explore the characteristics of the solo instrument(s).
Haydn wrote an important trumpet concerto and a Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe and bassoon as well as two horn concertos.
In the 19th century the concerto as a vehicle for virtuosic display flourished as never before. It was an age in which the artist was seen as hero, to be worshipped with rapture. Early Romantic traits can be found in the violin concertos of Viotti, but it is Spohr's twelve violin concertos, written between 1802 and 1827, that truly embrace the Romantic spirit with their melodic as well as their dramatic qualities.
Since the Romantic era, the cello has received as much attention as the piano and violin as a concerto instrument, and many great Romantic and even more 20th-century composers left examples.
Antonín Dvořák's cello concerto ranks among the supreme examples from the Romantic era while Robert Schumann's focuses on the lyrical qualities of the instrument. The instrument was also popular with composers of the Franco-Belgian tradition: Saint-Saëns and Vieuxtemps wrote two cello concertos each and Lalo and Jongen one. Elgar's popular concerto, while written in the early 20th century, belongs to the late romantic period stylistically.
Tchaikovsky's contribution to the genre is a series of Variations on a Rococo Theme. He also left very fragmentary sketches of a projected Cello Concerto. Cellist Yuriy Leonovich and Tchaikovsky researcher Brett Langston published their completion of the piece in 2006.
Today's 'core' repertoire—performed the most of any cello concertos—are by Elgar, Dvořák, Saint-Saëns, Haydn, Shostakovich and Schumann, but many more concertos are performed nearly as often (see below: cello concertos in the 20th century).
Beethoven's five piano concertos increase the technical demands made on the soloist. The last two are particularly remarkable, integrating the concerto into a large symphonic structure with movements that frequently run into one another. His Piano Concerto No. 4 starts, against tradition, with a statement by the piano, after which the orchestra enters in a foreign key, to present what would normally have been the opening tutti. The work has an essentially lyrical character. The slow movement is a dramatic dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra. His Piano Concerto No. 5 has the basic rhythm of a Viennese military march. There is no lyrical second subject, but in its place a continuous development of the opening material.
Chopin wrote two piano concertos in which the orchestra is very much relegated to an accompanying role. Schumann, despite being a pianist-composer, wrote a piano concerto in which virtuosity is never allowed to eclipse the essential lyrical quality of the work. The gentle, expressive melody heard at the beginning on woodwind and horns (after the piano's heralding introductory chords) bears the material for most of the argument in the first movement. In fact, argument in the traditional developmental sense is replaced by a kind of variation technique in which soloist and orchestra interweave their ideas.
Liszt's mastery of piano technique matched that of Paganini for the violin. His concertos No. 1 and No. 2 left a deep impression on the style of piano concerto writing, influencing Rubinstein, and especially Tchaikovsky, whose First Piano Concerto's rich chordal opening is justly famous.
Grieg's concerto likewise begins in a striking manner after which it continues in a lyrical vein.
Brahms's First Piano Concerto in D minor (pub 1861) was the result of an immense amount of work on a mass of material originally intended for a symphony. His Second Piano Concerto in B♭ major (1881) has four movements and is written on a larger scale than any earlier concerto. Like his violin concerto, it is symphonic in proportions.
Fewer piano concertos were written in the late Romantic Period. But Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote four piano concertos between 1891 and 1926. His Second and Third, being the most popular of the four, went on to become among the most famous in the piano repertoire.
Many of the concertos written in the early 20th century belong more to the late Romantic school than to any modernistic movement. Masterpieces were written by Edward Elgar (a violin concerto and a cello concerto), Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Medtner (four and three piano concertos, respectively), Jean Sibelius (a violin concerto), Frederick Delius (a violin concerto, a cello concerto, a piano concerto and a double concerto for violin and cello), Karol Szymanowski (two violin concertos and a "Symphonie Concertante" for piano), and Richard Strauss (two horn concertos, a violin concerto, Don Quixote—a tone poem that features the cello as a soloist—and among later works, an oboe concerto).
However, in the first decades of the 20th century, several composers such as Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Bartók started experimenting with ideas that were to have far-reaching consequences for the way music is written and, in some cases, performed. Some of these innovations include a more frequent use of modality, the exploration of non-western scales, the development of atonality and neotonality, the wider acceptance of dissonances, the invention of the twelve-tone technique of composition and the use of polyrhythms and complex time signatures.
These changes also affected the concerto as a musical form. Beside more or less radical effects on musical language, they led to a redefinition of the concept of virtuosity that included new and extended instrumental techniques and a focus on previously neglected aspects of sound such as pitch, timbre and dynamics. In some cases, they also brought about a new approach to the role of soloists and their relation to the orchestra.
Two great innovators of early 20th-century music, Schoenberg and Stravinsky, both wrote violin concertos. The material in Schoenberg's concerto, like that in Berg's, is linked by the twelve-tone serial method. Bartók, another major 20th-century composer, wrote two important concertos for violin. Russian composers Prokofiev and Shostakovich each wrote two concertos while Khachaturian wrote a concerto and a Concerto-Rhapsody for the instrument. Hindemith's concertos hark back to the forms of the 19th century, even if the harmonic language he used was different.
Three violin concertos from David Diamond show the form in neoclassical style.
More recently, Dutilleux's L'Arbre des songes has proved an important addition to the repertoire and a fine example of the composer's atonal yet melodic style.
Other composers of major violin concertos include John Adams, Samuel Barber, Benjamin Britten, Peter Maxwell Davies, Miguel del Aguila, Philip Glass, Cristóbal Halffter, György Ligeti, Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinů, Carl Nielsen, Walter Piston, Alfred Schnittke, Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, John Williams and Roger Sessions.
In the 20th century, particularly after the Second World War, the cello enjoyed an unprecedented popularity. As a result, its concertante repertoire caught up with those of the piano and the violin both in terms of quantity and quality.
An important factor in this phenomenon was the rise of virtuoso cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. His outstanding technique and passionate playing prompted dozens of composers to write pieces for him, first in his native Soviet Union and then abroad. Among such compositions may be listed Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto, Dmitri Shostakovich's two cello concertos, Benjamin Britten's Cello-Symphony (which emphasizes, as its title suggests, the equal importance of soloist and orchestra), Henri Dutilleux' Tout un monde lointain..., Cristóbal Halffter's two cello concertos, Witold Lutosławski's cello concerto, Dmitry Kabalevsky's two cello concertos, Aram Khachaturian's Concerto-Rhapsody, Arvo Pärt's Pro et Contra, Alfred Schnittke, André Jolivet and Krzysztof Penderecki second cello concertos, Sofia Gubaidulina's Canticles of the Sun, Luciano Berio's Ritorno degli Snovidenia, Leonard Bernstein's Three Meditations, James MacMillan's cello concerto and Olivier Messiaen's Concert à quatre (a quadruple concerto for cello, piano, oboe, flute and orchestra).
In addition, several important composers who were not directly influenced by Rostropovich wrote cello concertos: Samuel Barber, Elliott Carter, Carlos Chávez, Miguel del Aguila, Alexander Glazunov, Hans Werner Henze, Paul Hindemith, Arthur Honegger, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, György Ligeti, Bohuslav Martinů, Darius Milhaud, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Joaquín Rodrigo, Toru Takemitsu, William Walton, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Bernd Alois Zimmermann for instance.
Igor Stravinsky wrote three works for solo piano and orchestra: Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra, and Movements for Piano and Orchestra. Sergei Prokofiev, another Russian composer, wrote five piano concertos, which he himself performed. Dmitri Shostakovich composed two. Fellow Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian contributed to the repertoire with a piano concerto and a Concerto-Rhapsody.
Béla Bartók also wrote three piano concertos. Like their violin counterparts, they show the various stages in his musical development. Bartok's also rearranged his chamber piece, Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, into a Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion, adding orchestral accompaniment.
Cristóbal Halffter wrote a prize-winning neoclassical Piano Concerto in 1953, and a second Piano Concerto in 1987–88.
Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote a concerto for piano, though it was later reworked as a concerto for two pianos and orchestra—both versions have been recorded—while Benjamin Britten's concerto for piano (1938) is a prominent work from his early period.
György Ligeti's concerto (1988) has a synthetic quality: it mixes complex rhythms, the composer's Hungarian roots and his experiments with micropolyphony from the 1960s and 1970s. Witold Lutosławski's piano concerto, completed in the same year, alternates between playfulness and mystery. It also displays a partial return to melody after the composer's aleatoric period.
Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin has written six piano concertos. Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara wrote three piano concertos, the third one dedicated to Vladimir Ashkenazy, who played and conducted the world première.
The 20th century also witnessed a growth of the concertante repertoire of instruments, some of which had seldom or never been used in this capacity, and even a concerto for wordless coloratura soprano by Reinhold Glière. As a result, almost all classical instruments now have a concertante repertoire. Examples include:
Among the works of the prolific composer Alan Hovhaness may be noted Prayer of St. Gregory for trumpet and strings, though it is not a concerto in the usual sense of the term.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, several composers wrote concertos for orchestra or concert band. In these works, different sections and/or instruments of the orchestra or concert band are treated at one point or another as soloists with emphasis on solo sections and/or instruments changing during the piece. Some examples include those written by:
Dutilleux has also described his Métaboles as a concerto for orchestra.
Many composers also wrote concertos for two or more soloists.
In the Baroque era:
In the Classical era:
In the Romantic era:
In the 20th century:
In the 21st century:
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature. The bassoon is a non-transposing instrument known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character and agility. Someone who plays the bassoon is called a bassoonist.Brandenburg Concertos
The Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1046–1051, original title: Six Concerts à plusieurs instruments) are a collection of six instrumental works presented by Bach to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, in 1721 (though probably composed earlier). They are widely regarded as some of the best orchestral compositions of the Baroque era.Cadenza
In music, a cadenza (from Italian: cadenza [kaˈdɛntsa], meaning cadence; plural, cadenze [kaˈdɛntse]) is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing virtuosic display. During this time the accompaniment will rest, or sustain a note or chord. Thus an improvised cadenza is indicated in written notation by a fermata in all parts. A cadenza usually will occur over the final or penultimate note in a piece, or over the final or penultimate note in an important subsection of a piece. It can also be found before a final coda or ritornello.Clarinet concerto
A clarinet concerto is a concerto for clarinet; that is, a musical composition for solo clarinet together with a large ensemble (such as an orchestra or concert band). Albert Rice has identified a work by Giuseppe Antonio Paganelli as possibly the earliest known concerto for solo clarinet; its score appears to be titled "Concerto per Clareto" and may date from 1733. It may, however, be intended for soprano chalumeau. There are earlier concerti grossi with concertino clarinet parts including two by Johann Valentin Rathgeber, published in 1728.Famed publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel published the first clarinet concerto in 1772. The instrument's popularity soared and a flurry of early clarinet concertos ensued. Many of these early concertos have largely been forgotten, though German clarinettist Dieter Klocker specializes in these "lost" works. Famous clarinet concertos of the Classical and early Romantic era include those of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Maria von Weber and Louis Spohr.
Relatively few clarinet concertos, or wind instrument concertos generally, were produced during the middle and late Romantic music era, but the form became more popular in the twentieth century, with famous clarinet concertos from Carl Nielsen and Aaron Copland, as well as more recent ones by composers such as John Adams, Kalevi Aho, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Magnus Lindberg, Donald Martino, Christopher Rouse, and John Williams.Concerto grosso
The concerto grosso (pronounced [konˈtʃɛrto ˈɡrɔsso]; Italian for big concert(o), plural concerti grossi [konˈtʃɛrti ˈɡrɔssi]) is a form of baroque music in which the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists (the concertino) and full orchestra (the ripieno or concerto grosso). This is in contrast to the solo concerto which features a single solo instrument with the melody line, accompanied by the orchestra.Concierto de Aranjuez
The Concierto de Aranjuez is a guitar concerto by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. Written in 1939, it is by far Rodrigo's best-known work, and its success established his reputation as one of the most significant Spanish composers of the 20th century.Honda Concerto
The Honda Concerto is an automobile co-developed by Honda and the Austin Rover Group. Based on the fourth generation (ED, EE, EF) Honda Civic it was introduced in Japan on 15 June 1988,, while the British-built European-market version was introduced in October 1989. The production lasted until October 1992 in Japan and 1994 in England. Named for the musical composition, and primarily designed for European tastes, the Concerto was the successor to the second generation Honda Ballade (which was a higher specification third generation Civic sedan), and the Honda Integra which was discontinued for the European Market owing to its unpopularity. All Japanese versions were exclusive to Japanese Honda dealerships called Honda Clio.
Model codes for the Japanese-built Concerto are MA1 (1.5-liter), MA2 (1.6-liter), and MA3 (1.6-liter 4WD), whereas the British-built Concerto's model code is HW.
The Concerto was sold in both liftback and sedan and built in two locations, Austin Rover's Longbridge plant for the European market, and by Honda in Suzuka, Mie, Japan. One difference between the British-built and Japanese-built Concertos was in the front suspension – versions built in Longbridge had MacPherson struts, unlike their Japanese counterparts which had double wishbones.
Although Japanese production began in June 1988, European deliveries only really began after British Concerto production commenced at the end of 1989. The Europe-only models, such as the 1.4, were presented in October 1989. In some European countries (e.g. Germany and Switzerland) and Australia, it was sold as the five-door liftback version only. It acted as replacement for the disappointing Honda Integra five-door liftback in some markets. The sedan version lasted until 1993 for most nations, especially in the United Kingdom where sales were lower compared to the Rover 200 and Rover 400 Series, which was considered the more upmarket of the two vehicles.
Engine choices were:
1.4 L (SOHC twin carb) with 88 PS (65 kW) at 6300 rpm (Europe)
1.5 L (SOHC 2-barrel carb) with 91 PS (67 kW) at 6000 rpm (Japan)
1.5 L (SOHC DPI) with 90 PS (66 kW) at 6000 rpm (Europe)
1.6 L (SOHC twin carb) with 106 PS (78 kW) at 6300 rpm (105 PS in Japan)
1.6 L (SOHC MPI) with 111 PS (82 kW) at 6300 rpm (120 PS in Japan, Australia)
1.6 L (DOHC MPI) with 122 PS (90 kW) at 6800 rpm (130 PS in Japan; European models without catalyst: 130 PS DIN with manual transmission and 124 PS DIN with automatic transmission)
1.8 TD turbodiesel (Peugeot-supplied), sold in France, Italy and Portugal only as a badge-engineered Rover 200 dieselFour-wheel drive was an option for the four-door sedan in Japan, a system later shared with the Civic-based compact SUV, the Honda CR-V. The Japanese range received a facelift in February 1991, when the twin-cam ZC engine was also added to the JZ-Si model.The Concerto was sold internationally on a platform which was shared with the popular Civic. Just like the five-door Integra it replaced, it offered more features than the Civic and was aimed at a more prestigious section of the market. The styling of the Concerto reflected an influence from the Honda Ascot, most notably the six-light window treatment of the greenhouse.
Honda stopped manufacturing the Concerto in Great Britain when its partner, Rover, was taken over by BMW in 1994. Until that point the two companies had been merged up to 20% equally with each other and had collaborated with this model and many others in both companies ranges.
The Concerto sedan was replaced by the Honda Domani in Japan and by the sedan version of the sixth generation (EK, EJ) Honda Civic in other markets. The hatchback version was replaced in Europe by the Domani-based 5 door Civic hatchback which was quite different to the rest of the sixth generation Civic range instead, as with the Domani, being based on the platform that underpinned the fifth generation (EG, EH) Civics. The Concerto hatchback was not replaced in other markets.
The Domani/5 door Civic hatchback formed the basis for the 1995 Rover 400 while the 1995 Rover 200 was based on the fourth generation Honda Civic platform, and therefore the Concerto's too.List of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) was a prolific composer and wrote in many genres. Perhaps his best-admired work is in opera, the piano concerto, sonata, the symphony, the string quartet, and string quintet. Mozart also wrote many pieces for solo piano, other forms of chamber music, masses and other religious music, and numerous dances, divertimentos, and other forms of light entertainment.Lou Harrison
Lou Silver Harrison (May 14, 1917 – February 2, 2003) was an American composer. He was a student of Henry Cowell, Arnold Schoenberg, and K. P. H. Notoprojo.
Harrison is particularly noted for incorporating elements of the music of non-Western cultures into his work, with a number of pieces written for Javanese style gamelan instruments, including ensembles constructed and tuned by Harrison and his partner William Colvig. The majority of his works are written in just intonation rather than the more widespread equal temperament. Harrison is one of the most prominent composers to have worked with microtones.Neoclassicism (music)
Neoclassicism in music was a twentieth-century trend, particularly current in the interwar period, in which composers sought to return to aesthetic precepts associated with the broadly defined concept of "classicism", namely order, balance, clarity, economy, and emotional restraint. As such, neoclassicism was a reaction against the unrestrained emotionalism and perceived formlessness of late Romanticism, as well as a "call to order" after the experimental ferment of the first two decades of the twentieth century. The neoclassical impulse found its expression in such features as the use of pared-down performing forces, an emphasis on rhythm and on contrapuntal texture, an updated or expanded tonal harmony, and a concentration on absolute music as opposed to Romantic program music.
In form and thematic technique, neoclassical music often drew inspiration from music of the 18th century, though the inspiring canon belonged as frequently to the Baroque and even earlier periods as to the Classical period—for this reason, music which draws inspiration specifically from the Baroque is sometimes termed neo-Baroque music. Neoclassicism had two distinct national lines of development, French (proceeding partly from the influence of Erik Satie and represented by Igor Stravinsky, who was in fact Russian-born) and German (proceeding from the "New Objectivity" of Ferruccio Busoni, who was actually Italian, and represented by Paul Hindemith). Neoclassicism was an aesthetic trend rather than an organized movement; even many composers not usually thought of as "neoclassicists" absorbed elements of the style.Philip Glass
Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the late 20th century. Glass's work has been described as minimal music, having similar qualities to other "minimalist" composers such as La Monte Young, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. Glass describes himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures", which he has helped evolve stylistically.Glass founded the Philip Glass Ensemble, with which he still performs on keyboards. He has written numerous operas and musical theatre works, twelve symphonies, eleven concertos, eight string quartets and various other chamber music, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky)
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B♭ minor, Op. 23, was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875. It was revised in the summer of 1879 and again in December 1888. The first version received heavy criticism from Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's desired pianist. Rubinstein later repudiated his previous accusations and became a fervent champion of the work. It is one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concertos.Piano Concerto No. 2 (Rachmaninoff)
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting.
This piece is one of Rachmaninoff's most enduringly popular pieces, and established his fame as a concerto composer.Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven)
The Piano Concerto No. 5 in E♭ major, Op. 73, by Ludwig van Beethoven, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, was his last completed piano concerto. It was written between 1809 and 1811 in Vienna, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf, Beethoven's patron and pupil. The first performance took place on 13 January 1811 at the Palace of Prince Joseph Lobkowitz in Vienna, with Archduke Rudolf as the soloist, followed by a public concert on 28 November 1811 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig under conductor Johann Philipp Christian Schulz, the soloist being Friedrich Schneider. On 12 February 1812, Carl Czerny, another student of Beethoven's, gave the Vienna debut of this work.
The epithet of Emperor for this concerto was not Beethoven's own but was coined by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto. Its duration is approximately forty minutes.Piano concerto
A piano concerto is a type of concerto, a solo composition in the Classical music genre which is composed for a piano player, which is typically accompanied by an orchestra or other large ensemble. Piano concertos are typically virtuoso showpieces which require an advanced level of technique on the instrument, including melodic lines interspersed with rapid scales, arpeggios, chords, complex contrapuntal parts and other challenging material. When piano concertos are performed by a professional concert pianist, a large grand piano is almost always used, as the grand piano has a fuller tone and more projection than an upright piano. Piano concertos are typically written out in music notation, including sheet music for the pianist (which they typically memorize so that they can play the concert without sheet music), orchestra parts for the orchestra members, and a full score for the conductor, who leads the orchestra in the accompaniment of the soloist.
Depending on the era in which a piano concerto was composed, the orchestra parts may provide a fairly subordinate accompaniment role, setting out the bassline and chord progression over which the piano plays solo parts (more typical during the Baroque music era, from 1600 to 1750 and the Classical music period, from 1730 to 1800), or the orchestra may be given an almost equal role to the piano soloist, with orchestra instrumentalists and sections introducing key musical themes and playing virtuostic parts for their instruments and in which there is a "dialogue" or "conversation" between the piano soloist and the orchestra. When music students and music competition auditionees play piano concertos, the orchestra part may be performed in an orchestral reduction, a conversion of the orchestra parts into a part for an accompanist playing piano or pipe organ, as it is very expensive to hire a full orchestra. Keyboard concerti were common in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach in the Baroque music era, during the Classical music period and during the Romantic music era (1800–1910). Keyboard concertos are also written by contemporary classical music composers. Twentieth- and 21st-century piano concertos may include experimental or unusual performance techniques. In the 20th and 21st century, J.S. Bach's harpsichord concertos are sometimes played on piano. There are variant types of piano concertos, including double piano concertos, for two solo pianists and orchestra, and double or triple (or larger solo groups) concertos in which the piano soloist is joined by a violinist, cellist, or another instrumentalist.The Cat Concerto
The Cat Concerto is a 1947 American one-reel animated cartoon and is the 29th Tom and Jerry short, released to theatres on April 26, 1947. It was produced by Fred Quimby and directed by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with musical supervision by Scott Bradley, and animation by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Irven Spence and additional animation by Richard Bickenbach (uncredited).
Following its release, it was met with critical acclaim, and is considered one of the best Tom and Jerry cartoons ever. It won the 1946 Oscar for Best Short Subject: Cartoons. In 1994, it was voted #42 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field. The short won the duo their fourth consecutive Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The short also appears in Empire Magazine's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time list as the number 434.The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a group of four concerti grossi by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. They were written around 1716-1717 and were published in 1725 in Amsterdam, together with eight additional concerti grossi, as Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione ("The Contest Between Harmony and Invention").
The Four Seasons is the best known of Vivaldi's works. Though three of the concerti are wholly original, the first, "Spring", borrows motifs from a Sinfonia in the first act of Vivaldi's contemporaneous opera Il Giustino. The inspiration for the concertos is not the countryside around Mantua, as initially supposed, where Vivaldi was living at the time, since according to Karl Heller they could have been written as early as 1716-1717, while Vivaldi was engaged with the court of Mantua only in 1718. They were a revolution in musical conception: in them Vivaldi represented flowing creeks, singing birds (of different species, each specifically characterized), a shepherd and his barking dog, buzzing flies, storms, drunken dancers, hunting parties from both the hunters' and the prey's point of view, frozen landscapes, and warm winter fires.
Unusually for the period, Vivaldi published the concerti with accompanying sonnets (possibly written by the composer himself) that elucidated what it was in the spirit of each season that his music was intended to evoke. The concerti therefore stand as one of the earliest and most detailed examples of what would come to be called program music—i.e., music with a narrative element. Vivaldi took great pains to relate his music to the texts of the poems, translating the poetic lines themselves directly into the music on the page. For example, in the middle section of the Spring concerto, where the goatherd sleeps, his barking dog can be heard in the viola section. The music is elsewhere similarly evocative of other natural sounds. Vivaldi separated each concerto into three movements (fast–slow–fast), and, likewise, each linked sonnet into three sections.Violin Concerto (Mendelssohn)
Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is his last large orchestral work. It forms an important part of the violin repertoire and is one of the most popular and most frequently performed violin concertos in history. A typical performance lasts just under half an hour.
Mendelssohn originally proposed the idea of the violin concerto to Ferdinand David, a close friend and then concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Although conceived in 1838, the work took another six years to complete and was not premiered until 1845. During this time, Mendelssohn maintained a regular correspondence with David, who gave him many suggestions. The work itself was one of the foremost violin concertos of the Romantic era and was influential on many other composers.
Although the concerto consists of three movements in a standard fast–slow–fast structure and each movement follows a traditional form, the concerto was innovative and included many novel features for its time. Distinctive aspects include the almost immediate entrance of the violin at the beginning of the work (rather than following an orchestral preview of the first movement's major themes, as was typical in Classical-era concertos) and the through-composed form of the concerto as a whole, in which the three movements are melodically and harmonically connected and played attacca (each movement immediately following the previous one).
The concerto was well received and soon became regarded as one of the greatest violin concertos of all time. The concerto remains popular to this day and has developed a reputation as an essential concerto for all aspiring concert violinists to master, and usually one of the first Romantic era concertos they learn. Many professional violinists have recorded the concerto and the work is regularly performed in concerts and classical music competitions.
Mendelssohn also wrote a virtuoso Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra in D minor between 1821 and 1823, when he was 12 to 14 years old, at the same time that he produced his twelve string symphonies. This work was "rediscovered" and first recorded in 1951 by Yehudi Menuhin.Violin concerto
A violin concerto is a concerto for solo violin (occasionally, two or more violins) and instrumental ensemble (customarily orchestra). Such works have been written since the Baroque period, when the solo concerto form was first developed, up through the present day. Many major composers have contributed to the violin concerto repertoire, with the best known works including those by Bach, Bartók, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Paganini, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Vivaldi.
Traditionally a three-movement work, the violin concerto has been structured in four movements by a number of modern composers, including Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, and Alban Berg. In some violin concertos, especially from the Baroque and modern eras, the violin (or group of violins) is accompanied by a chamber ensemble rather than an orchestra—for instance, in Vivaldi's L'estro armonico, originally scored for four violins, two violas, cello, and continuo, and in Allan Pettersson's first concerto, for violin and string quartet.