Essay about The Evolution of the Concerto from Classical to Romantic Era

Words: 985
Pages: 4

The concerto form was developed significantly from the Classical to the romantic era; producing changes within its instrumentation, form thematic material and rhythmic devices. The societal attitudes towards the composition and consumption of the concerto form also changed during this time.

A concerto is an arrangement with solo works performed within the piece, alternating between a larger ensemble and the soloist. The root of its definition was believed to mean to ‘skirmish with one another’ (Boyden, 1957), this definition helps explain the idea of a concerto, it displays a notion that the soloist is ‘skirmishing’ with the remainder of the ensemble. The defining characteristic of a concerto is its arrangement. It has a contrast in
…show more content…
Bach used the harpsichord as a solo concerto instrument also in some pieces such as his concerto No.5 and his harpsichord concerto in d minor. This showed that the solo aspect of the concerto was not just limited to the strings and aerophones, straying from concerto grossos traditional form. Bach’s concertos usually had three movements also, differing from the four of Corelli’s opus 6.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also composed and published a significant number of concerto pieces in his time. As technology and instruments developed and changed, so did the contemporary concerto of that time. Mozart used Piano in his concerto, some even for soloist parts, rather that the outdated harpsichord. The instrumentation for his Concerto No.3, composed during the late classical era (circa 1800), consisted of 2 oboes, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, a trumpet, timpani, a strings section and a soloist piano. This arrangement also contains scoring for the percussion instrument the timpani, also unlike the concertos from the early 1700’s. There is also a much more prominent woodwind section.

The concerto form developed greatly from the seventeenth to eighteenth century, in various aspects. It changed in its instrumentation, form, thematic material and its rhythmic devices, yet the main defining characteristic, the soloist segments, remained. Arcangelo Corelli was known as the first to publish the concerto