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Concerto types[edit]

I don't think that there are nearly enough different categories for solo instrument concerti Also consider double and triple concerti? Article was adapted from a 1911 enc.

CLEANUP: Some subheadings could improve this article (e.g. Baroc concerto, Classical concerto, 10:26, 20 February 2007 (UTC)Romantic concerto etc.)

Historical development etc.[edit]

Some good writing by C. Girdlestone, for instance - Alfred Einstein also, and others about the concerto. Girdlestone (Mozart and his Piano Concertos) points out how often the opening tutti in Mozart contains themes that are not heard in the first solo but perhaps not until the development or the coda, and how this is used as a dramatic device, among other observations on how the existence of an opening tutti allows not just breathing space but (Tovey- quoted by Girdlestone- points this out too and notes that each of the mature piano concertos has some important, and not local, feature making its relations between solo and orchestra* different from all the others) different relations between solo and orchestra in each of the piano concertos, all of these effects mostly lost (mostly - there are other effects achieved in other ways of course) when the tutti itself is dropped by the Romantic-era composer.

  • Not referring always to the 'tutti opening' but sometimes to the way the parts interact instead, of course. Obviously one point here is that the later concertos show much more independent winds... Spohr was not that far wrong in calling them symphonies for piano and orchestra, as Toch actually did call one of his piano concertos. These remarks may be more appropriate for piano concerto. Schissel : bowl listen 19:48, May 24, 2005 (UTC)

Possibly a bit more revelant to the page generally though: several of these authors perceptively locate the problem of the concerto - whether in the Baroque era or later, though not of course for those composers who chose to ignore it entirely - as being: not wasting the resources (and often salary!) of the orchestra which has been brought to accompany, while nonetheless making it clear enough that the soloist is at least first among equals if not, in fact, predominant. Descriptions of the concerto as a sonata for orchestra with solo, and specifically the first movement as a sonata movement in concerto form, meet so few cases and have so many exceptions during the classical period that it becomes positively Ptolemaic - to abuse the term and abuse the history of that period as well - to claim it as a rule. It is more accurate, relatively speaking, when applied to the purely virtuoso concerto, or to the Romantic-era concerto of Schumann and Mendelssohn (though again, not Brahms, true, who knew the function of the tutti.) Schissel : bowl listen 19:06, August 1, 2005 (UTC)

Etymology of the word "concerto"[edit]

I always thought it came from the Latin verb "concertare", which is defined roughly as "to compete". Any ideas?

Doshea3 22:43, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

No, it is a borrowed italian word. Concerto in italian means simply "a concert". Karol 21:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

"The Italian work "concertare" has two meanings. It means to struggle or fight' it also means to cooperate. Both of these contrary meanings are present in a concerto, in which a solo player or a group of solo players in contrasted with an entire orchestra." - From Jermy Yudkin's text, Understanding Music, 2005.

Concerti Vs Concertos[edit]

Could anyone enlighten me as to the proper plural form of the word "concerto". I have always taken it as "concerti". However many CD's and books have "concertos". Can both be used? Can "concerti" only be used when refering to baroque concerti/concertos? I think this is important for the article as well as my personal interest. Benjaminstewart05 17:35, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Both forms are correct - concerti is the borrowed italian plural form, and concertos is the english plural form of the borrowed italian singular. I can cite Mariam-Webster as a reference. Karol 21:03, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the assistance. Benjaminstewart05 16:42, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

I agree this article is in need of rewriting from a more neutral point of view and with a clearer approach. I am happy to do this in a few days time unless someone else is already on the job? With regard to the above: I shall use the standard English plural "concertos" unless refering to "concerti grossi" Hikitsurisan 15:18, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Rewrite now completed.Hikitsurisan 09:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I've had a quick go at copyediting the article, too. There was some stylistic awkwardness, irregular punctuation, poor exposition (with lapses of logic), and inconsistency. I've done what I can to fix some of these glitches. I think there is still some more to do, and I may come back some time to work harder at it. – Noetica 09:37, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The form...?[edit]

Should the form of the concerto be mentioned? Lady Nimue of the Lake 05:20, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


How come there is no significant mention on Rachmaninoff's piano concerti except for a mention of his name? There must be atleast a small mention of his 2nd piano concerto atleast. It was a significant milestone in virtuosity piano playing.--Gauravsundar 15:34, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Mozart concerto and sonata form[edit]

Still not at all right. Not in my opinion- or Tovey's, Girdlestone's, Thorpe-Davie's, ...

Possible draft of section to insert, and paraphrasing Thorpe-Davie and Girdlestone both.

The first movement of the classical concerto is often described as a sonata for orchestra with soloist much as the symphony in the classical period was a sonata for orchestra, for example. This is true at best in broad outline, because of the existence of the introductory "tutti" section preceding the first solo entrance of almost every Classical concerto. This sets the stage for that entrance, often presenting themes that the soloist, or the soloist in combination with the orchestra, will later elaborate. The relation between this tutti and the material that follows it - especially with Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms - is different with each work, relatively simple imitation of the tutti by the soloist in some, complicated in others, but as each concerto is a living work of art, this is to be expected. Schissel | Sound the Note! 17:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC)


20th-century (etc.) concertos[edit]

(Flute, oboe, recorder, piano trio, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano, ...) trumpet, trombone, and tuba concertos also provided by Vagn Holmboe (and Bernd Alois Zimmermann also wrote one for trumpet, incorporating the spiritual "Nobody knows de trouble I see".) To name two only, but admittedly that list is not intended to be complete :) Schissel | Sound the Note! 03:56, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Constrution details and headings[edit]

Just a quick note someone posted Editing now, this is not good for an encyclopedia's look. It is better to have an article that looks like it is written badley and disjointed then that. Also where does the word come from? is also not an acceptable sub heading, as genral definetly avoid questions a subheadings. Otherwise good editing.--AresAndEnyo (talk) 15:39, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

This seems to be largely paraphrsed from Grove, allbeit inaccuratlry, e.g. Vivaldi inventing 3 movement form: 3 movement from can be found in all of Torelli's op.8 concerti grossi —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jdilworth771 (talkcontribs) 17:13, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The Concerto and the Orchestra[edit]

In a concerto, must the soloist(s) always be accompanied by an orchestra (string section, wind section etc) for it to be officially called a concerto? Can it be other instruments (guitars, keyboards etc.) that take the place of an orchestra and still qualify as a concerto? My appologies for asking such a beginners question. But I've always respected Classical music and have written some pieces that have what I consider that Concerto feel. But, there is no orchestra! Any serious input would be greatly appreciated. Ted1956 (talk) 04:34, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the definition given seems too stringent, it really excludes all Baroque concertos, before "orchestras" (as Wikipedia's page on orchestras defines it) really existed. A baroque concerto almost never has percussion, and Wikipedia defines this as an integral part of an orchestra. I think it would be more correct to say that the concerto is a musical work usually in three movements that features a small subset of instruments in an ensemble. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Overlapping articles /lists[edit]

Someone might like to look at the overlaps between the stub article Double concerto, the section Concerto#Concertos_for_two_or_more_instruments and the list at Double concerto for violin and cello (which includes a section "Other Double Concertos" eg bassoon and cello!). I'll put this at all three talk pages. PamD (talk) 23:41, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Additional citations[edit]

Why and where does this article need additional citations for verification? What references does it need and how should they be added? Hyacinth (talk) 02:39, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Lead too narrow[edit]

Can the lead please cover more meanings of the term, which the article already has? When Bach wrote "Concerto" on the title page of a cantata, he didn't mean a work in mostly three movements with one solo instrument. For a long time in history, "concerto" meant any concertante music. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:45, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

I added the older (17th, early 18th cent.) meaning to the lead - see what you think. Marlindale (talk) 19:45, 31 January 2016 (UTC)


His (late) symphonies are certainly notable, but I wonder what is the evidence that his concertos are. Marlindale (talk) 21:58, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

His violin concertos were not found on a long list by many composers, so I deleted mention of them from this article. More appreciated seem to be his concerti for cello (oboes, horns, and strings). Marlindale (talk) 19:51, 31 January 2016 (UTC)