The Evolution of the Concerto from Classical to Romantic Era Essay

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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…

This marked the first actual publication of the concerto grosso genre (Jander, 1968). Corelli’s Opus 6 was comprised of entirely strings. The solo section known as the concertino that must be made of two violins and a cello. This soloist group then alternated with a larger group called the ripeno, which usually consisted of two violins, a bass and a viola, of which the numbers can be increased; there was also sometimes a continuo. This was the standard instrumental setup for the concerto grosso and other composers such as Handel used this.

Bach was a prolific composer during the later parts of the baroque period, he was also a prolific concerto composer also, He himself composing many pieces in concerto form. Most of these works were composed around 1720. Bach was the Kapellmeister for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen during this period; this was also the period in which his wife died suddenly, perhaps striking inspiration. Many of Bach’s concertos used additional and varied instrumentation to those of Corelli and the concerto grosso form. They often had woodwind and brass instruments such as the oboe, recorder, trumpet and piccolo. There was no standard instrumentation for Bach’s concertos, the instruments he used varied from piece to piece. To contrast this, Bach’s concerto No. 1 used two horns, three oboes, a violino piccolo accompanied by the bassoon, a strings section (similar to a

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