The concerto is a musical form where one or more soloists dialog with an orchestra. In its modern form, the concerto comprises only one soloist. The word is of Italian origin, of Italian concerto , plural concerti , but the French Academy recommends the regularity for plurals of the words of foreign origin; concertos are thus said. Of Italian origin , it developed for the period baroque and was one of the musical forms more the appraisals for the periods traditional and romantic.
HistoryThe etymological origin of the term contains two currents parallel and complementary to its history. Concertare which includes the idea to compete, to quarrel, fight in particular in words, differs from conserere which has a significance of bond, of junction but which can be also the idea to put at the catches. The first meaning determines the base of the concerto of gasoline virtuoso soloist whereas the second supposes the equality of the partners of which the number and the function are not delimited: it is the principle in the concert to the Frenchwoman. The concerto, whose birth is related to that of the style concerting towards the beginning of the 17th century, when the appearance of the Basse continues generalizes the use of the accompanied monodie, succeeding the polyphonic style in honor since the Middle Ages, rests on the concept of dialog preferred with that of continuity of the polyphonic language.
The concerto term initially applied to religious parts mixing voice and instruments ( Concerti ecclesiastici of Ludovico Viadana, Petits Concerts of sacred music of Heinrich Schütz for examples). The concerto thus has vocal origins by the setting in the high-speed motorboat of a character, by a set of counterparts, alternations with the unit, but also by the improvisation and the Ornementation left with the Soliste. The purely instrumental concerto which develops in Italy during second half of the 17th century first of all takes the form of a dialog between an small group of instruments soloists (the concertino ) and still masses it orchestra, or ripieno , known as “Concerto grosso”, term which ends up defining the kind itself.
One distinguishes some from two kinds, according to their destination: the concerto da chiesa (concerto of church), of severe and serious style, composed of four movements in the slow-sharp order (running away) - slow-sharp, and the concerto da camera (concerto of room), of profane use, of lighter nature, and much freer in the form, including/understanding many dances.
The three characters at the origin of the concerto were Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), Giuseppe Torelli (1656-1709) and Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), which some type-setters hardly less brilliant followed among which Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), Francesco Geminiani (1678-1748), raises of Corelli and Scarlatt I, or Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764).
Through its concertos, Vivaldi contributed to the establishment of the one of the first characteristics of the concerto which would be taken again during the following centuries: its use as demonstration of the play of the virtuosos. The concerto for violin also strongly influenced the developments in the technology of the violin, by the writing inter-cords and the development of various techniques of bow. Vivaldi was the first type-setter systematically to use the form of the “ritornello” which became thereafter a standard for the fast movements of the concertos. The “ritornello” was a section which returned in various keys and was played by the whole orchestra. It alternated with sections dominated by the soloist (episodes) who, in its work, were often of true exercises of virtuosity. It establishes practically the ternary format of the concerto (allegro, andante, allegro) and was among the first to introduce cadenza for soloists.
The true initiator of the formula and its success is Antonio Vivaldi (however, Torelli remains the inventor about it), author of very many concertos for a large variety of instruments (Violon, Violoncelle, Mandoline, Flûte, Hautbois, etc) Beaucoup of his contemporaries were to encase the step to him, with more or less of originality.
Some are innovators: Haendel with her concertos for organ, Bach with its concertos for 1 to 4 Harpsichord S. This last writing even the Italian Concerto where its genius enables him to make only play Claveciniste part of soloist, in opposition with part of tutti.
The traditional period sees, inter alia, the explosion of the number of concertos of Haydn and especially Mozart:
- concertos for piano;
- concerto for flute and toothing-stone;
- concertos for violin;
- concerto for clarinet;
- concerto for horn…
It is Beethoven which inaugurates the romantic concerto, with its five concertos for piano and its monumental concerto for violin. Its example is followed by many type-setters: the concerto competes with the Symphonie in the repertory of the great orchestral formations.
The concerto, generally, comprises three movements:
- the first, sharp, of form “Sonata”
- the second, slow, of form “Lied” or “topic varied”
- the last, rapid, of form “rondo”.
The largest variety of instruments soloists was used for concertos: Piano, Harpsichord, Organ, Violin, viola, Violoncello, flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Mandoline, horn, trumpet, tuba, Toothing-stone, Guitare etc Certains type-setters wrote doubles or triple concertos, confronting several soloists (Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms).
The concerto baroque
One often confuses the concept baroque or traditional of concerto with the concerto soloist of the 19th century, whereas both hardly have but the joint name. The concerto baroque is not a part in solo, with a soloist who prevails and an orchestra which accompanies, although it often today is conceived as tel. the gasoline of the concerto to its birth is the dialog, competition of various groups.
The concerto baroque can as well be a part of chamber music for some instruments as an orchestral work for fifty musicians. It is enough that it is built on a typical form of alternation of the musical statement, the made-to-order of a discussion. The formal framework is given by the passages in tutti, in which all the participants, including the possible soloists, play together. The fact “of concerting” can oppose one or more soloists, or of the soloists and the ripienists, or proceed within the orchestra.
By comparison with the traditional Sonata, the concerto baroque seems deprived of harmonic direction. In addition if one compares them with the concertos bravery of the 19th century according to the soloist part, the concertos baroques - those of Vivaldi until those of Bach - seem the first concessions with the ego of the virtuosos. The harmonic principles of the concerto baroque are organized starting from different intentions. The elements of dynamic contrasts and amplitude - which are in the middle of the idea of concerto - there are as manifest as in the traditional concerto but are obtained by direct means. Instead of subtle gradations of modulations characteristic of the traditional tonality, one finds here an opposition of texture and dynamic level. There is not equation in the concerto baroque between change of tonality and change of topic. It follows that the principle at the base of the concerto baroque uses a more restricted vocabulary set of themes. Essence in the sets of themes reports/ratios of concerting work of Vivaldi is not their individuality but their interdependence.
It follows a sensuality and a wild imagination where the sonority of the cords prevails and where the abundant ornamentation is improvised by imaginative interpreters giving his full measurement to virtuosity soloist.
The concerto at the 19th century
Throughout the XIXe century, the piano and the violin are the instruments of predilection of type-setters often themselves interpreters virtuosos; it is in particular the case of the pianists Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin, as well as violonist Niccolo Paganini. The role of the soloist is largely reinforced in the exposure set of themes and the central development. Its virtuosity is expressed especially in the gives rhythm which, formerly impromptu, from now on is entirely written.
The concerto at the 20th century
The formal research undertaken as of the XIXe century perdurent at the XXe century, sometimes until the pure and simple bursting. If, thématiquement and aesthetically speaking, certain works remain basically héritères preceding century (the first three concertos of Rachmaninov, for example, will influence many concerting works), the hour is with the change and the invention: thus concerto of Bartok (didn't write, moreover, a Concerto for orchestra ?) or to Chostakovitch, the famous Concerto for the left hand of Ravel, etc Little by little, one will bring the kind with that closer to the Rhapsody (for example work, concerting, of Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue ).
- the concerto on Symphozik
- Analysis of the '' Second concerto for piano '' of Rachmaninov, models romantic concertos of the XXe century
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