协奏曲 Concerto


The first concertos -- works typically for one or more soloists and orchestra -- date from the late 17th century, and new ones are being written every year. The genre gives a talented soloist the chance to strut his or her stuff. Yet it also seems to embody the relationship between the individual and the crowd. Several beloved concertos originated in the late Baroque era, including Vivaldi's violin concertos entitled the "Four Seasons," and Bach's "Brandenburg Concertos," which represent the concerto grosso form -- a group of soloists accompanied by an orchestra. The touring virtuoso tradition of concerto performance began with Mozart and Beethoven, flourished in the 19th century when composers such as Liszt and Tchaikovsky were happy to push soloists to their technical limits, and continues even now. Concertos will be written as long as the idea of the one against the many remains relevant.

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