Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/399

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
CONCERTINA.
387
CONCERTO.

making the total range of the four instruments 6⅜ octaves. The late Signor Regondi was the first to make the instrument known, and was followed by Mr. George Case. Mr. Richard Blagrove is now the principal performer and professor. Among the music written specially for the instrument are 2 Concertos in G and D tor solo concertina and orchestra, by Molique; 2 ditto ditto in D and E♭, by G. Regondi; Sonata for piano and concertina in B♭, by Molique; Quintet for concertina and strings, by G. A. Macfarren; Adagio for 8 concertinas in E, by E. Silas; Quintet in D for piano, concertina, violin, viola, and cello, by the same; 6 Trios for piano, concertina, and violin, by the same. Much brilliant salon music has also been written for it. Messrs. Wheatstone & Co. are the best makers.

[ G. ]

CONCERTINO (Ital., dim. of Concerto). A piece for one or more solo instruments with orchestral accompaniment, which differs from the Concerto in its much greater conciseness. The concertino is less restricted in form than the concerto; it may be in three short movements, which are usually connected; but it more often consists of one rather long movement, in which the time may be changed or a middle part in slower tempo be introduced episodically. As good examples may be cited Weber's 'Concertino' for clarinet, op. 26, and Schumann's 'Introduction and Allegro Appassionato,' op. 92, for piano and orchestra. For some not very obvious reason the form is much less frequently used for the piano than for the violin or other orchestral instruments.

[ E. P. ]

[App. p.596 "CONCERTINO (i. e. a little Concert).

I. A term applied to the little band of Solo Instruments employed in a Concerto Grosso—which see. The title of Corelli's Concertos is, Concerti grossi con due Violini e Violoncello di Concertino obbligati, e due altri Violini e Basso di Concerto grosso ad arbitrio che si potramo radoppare.

II. A Concerto on a small scale. See vol. i. p. 387 a."]

[ W. S. R. ]

CONCERTO (Ital.; Ger. and Fr. Concert). This name is now given to an instrumental composition designed to show the skill of an executant, and which is almost invariably accompanied by orchestra—one exception being Liszt's 'Concert Pathétique' for two pianos, and another Schumann's Sonata op. 14, originally published as 'Concert sans orchestre.' The word was however at one time used differently. It was first employed by Ludovico Viadana, who in 1602–3 published a series of motets for voices and organ, which he entitled 'Concerti ecclesiastici.' In this sense the word was used as equivalent to the Latin 'concentus,' and such works were called 'Concerti da Chiesa' (Church Concertos). Soon other instruments were added to the organ; and ultimately single instrumental movements in the sacred style were written which also received the name of 'Concerti da Chiesa.' The real inventor of the modern concerto as a concert piece was Giuseppe Torelli, who in 1686 published a 'Concerto da Camera' for two violins and bass. The form was developed by Corelli, Geminiani, and Vivaldi. From the first it resembled that of the sonata; and as the latter grew out of the suite, the movements becoming larger in form and with more internal cohesion, so it was also with the concerto: there is as much difference between a concerto by Bach and one by Beethoven as there is between the 'Suites Anglaises' and the 'Waldstein' sonata. In the time of Bach and Handel the word. 'Concerto,' though applied exclusively to instrumental music, had a less restricted signification than is given to it in the present day. Many of the specimens of this form in the works of the masters named more nearly resemble symphonies than concertos in the modern acceptation of the term. For instance, the first of Handel's so-called 'Oboe Concertos' is written for strings, two flutes, two oboes, and two bassoons, and excepting in occasional passages these are treated orchestrally rather than as solo instruments; while of Bach we have a concerto for violino piccolo, three oboes, one bassoon, and two horns, with string quartet, and another for three violins, three violas, three violoncellos, and double bass, neither of which possess the characteristics of a modern concerto. The form, moreover, of the older concerto was much freer than now. With Bach we find a preference for the three-movement form at present in use. In the whole of his piano concertos, as well as in those for one or two violins, we find an allegro, a slow movement, and a finale in quick time—generally 3-8. The two concertos named above are, exceptionally, the former in four and the latter in only two movements. With Handel, on the other hand, the three-movement form is the exception. As examples of the freedom of which he makes use, may be quoted the movements of two of his 'Twelve Grand Concertos' for two violins and violoncello soli, with accompaniment for stringed orchestra. These works are concertos in the modern sense, as regards the treatment of the solo instruments; but their form is as varied as possible. Thus the sixth consists of a Larghetto, Allegro ma non troppo, Musette, and two Allegros, the second of which (though not so entitled) is a minuet; while the eighth contains an Allemande, Grave, Andante allegro, Adagio, Siciliana, and Allegro. It should be mentioned here that Handel was one of the first, if not the first, to introduce opportunities for extempore performance on the part of the soloist, thus anticipating the 'cadenza,' an important feature of the modern concerto, to be spoken of presently. In the second movement of his Organ Concerto in D minor (No. 4 of the second set) are to be found no less than six places marked organo ad libitum, and with a pause over the rests in the accompaniments, indicating that the player (that is to say, he himself) was to improvise.

The modern form of the concerto was finally settled by Mozart, and though several modifications have been introduced during the present century, the general lines of construction remain the same as fixed by him. Nearly fifty concertos of his composition for various instruments are in existence, and, while presenting slight differences of detail, closely resemble one another in the more important points. The concerto form is founded upon that of the Sonata (which see); there are however several variations which must be noted. In the first place, a concerto consists of only three movements, the scherzo, for some