The Scoring of Early Classical Concertos, 1750-1780

The Scoring of Early Classical Concertos, 1750-1780

Richard Maunder


Boydell Press



The sequel to Richard Maunder's The Scoring of Baroque Concertos
In the baroque era most concertos were - in the modern sense of the term - chamber music, to be played by a small group of musicians each reading from an individual printed or manuscript part. Indeed, composers often expected the soloist to be accompanied by just a string quartet with a harpsichord or organ continuo. But over the thirty years from 1750, as the classical style was being developed, numbers began to rise slowly. This did not happen at a uniform rate throughout Europe, however, for many concertos continued to be played one-to-a-part, and even by 1780 an ensemble with more than eight or nine strings would have been unusual. The nineteenth-century notion that a concerto pitted a lone soloist against a full symphony orchestra still lay some years in the future.
At the same time ideas about form were changing, as the Vivaldian ritornello pattern metamorphosed into the concerto-sonata form used by Mozart and his contemporaries; some unconventional variants appeared as composers strove to keep abreast of latest developments. It was a fascinating period of innovation, in which many hundreds of concertos were written. To be sure, not all of them can be described as "forgotten masterpieces", but among them there are some very fine works that certainly ought to be revived. It is hoped that readers of this book may be encouraged to explore this comparatively neglected repertoire.

RICHARD MAUNDER is a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. His previous book, The Scoring of Baroque Concertos, was published by The Boydell Press in 2004. He has also published books on Mozart's Requiem, Keyboard Instruments in Eighteenth-Century Vienna and numerous editions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music.


March 2014
1 black and white, 320 line illustrations
304 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843838937
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Northern and Central Germany
The South German Courts


A useful volume for those researching . . . late eighteenth-century instrumental repertoires. MUSIC & LETTERS

This book must be saluted as an achievement and the result of many years' work with primary sources. It is certainly useful for understanding how concertos were scored and performed in the period 1750-1780, and together with Maunder's previous work on the Baroque concerto constitutes a sound revision of this repertoire. BRIO

With so much of the music unfamiliar and unavailable in modern editions, the reader is grateful for so many musical illustrations, used to illuminate specific points, but also copious enough to give a good idea of the music's style and qualities. . . . Maunder has certainly opened a door on an important area of performance practice. EARLY MUSIC

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