Symphonie concertante

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The symphonie concertante (or sinfonia concertante; symphony concertante) was a genre related to the symphony which grew in prominence during the 1770s – 1780s in Europe but which died out for the most part by 1800. It was a symphony-concerto hybrid, typically organized in two movements, and scored for up to six soloists and orchestra. Some composers of symphonie concertantes were Carl Stamitz, Giovanni Giuseppe Cambini, and Jean-Baptiste Davaux. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed at least one finished symphonie concertante, the three-movement Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Violin and Viola, K. 364, in 1779.[1]

In the twentieth century various composers have paid tribute to the format, including Karol Szymanowski, whose Symphony No. 4 (1932) has the alternative title, Symphonie Concertante.

  1. Jones, David Wyn, “The Origins of the Symphony”, in Robert Layton, A Companion to the Symphony (London: Simon & Schuster, 1993), p. 23; Abraham, Gerald, The Concise Oxford History of Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 496-7.