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concerto grosso:see concertoconcerto
, musical composition usually for an orchestra and a soloist or a group of soloists. In the 16th cent. concertare and concertato implied an ensemble, either vocal or instrumental.
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ensemble-orchestral music of the 17th and 18th centuries based on the juxtaposition of a group of solo instruments (the concertino) and the full orchestra or ensemble (ripieno, or tutto).
A type of concerto, the concerto grosso originated in Italy in the mid-17th century, almost simultaneously with the solo concerto. The concertino usually includes two violin parts, a cello, and a figured bass. This was also the instrumentation for the trio sonata, which was prevalent at the time. At first the number of movements varied from four to seven, but with time the three-movement concerto grosso—allegro-adagio-allegro—became standard. Wind instruments were sometimes used with the string instruments.
A. Corelli, G. Torelli, and A. Vivaldi are among the out-standing Italian composers of concerti grossi. In the 18th century the genre spread to other countries. In Germany, G. P. Telemann, J. S. Bach, and G. F. Handel wrote works that were similar in style to the concerto grosso. With the resurgence of interest in baroque music, some 20th-century composers, including M. Reger, E. Křenek, and I. F. Stravinsky, have turned to the concerto grosso form.