Concert Overture or Symphonic Poem? What’s the difference?

March 9, 2015

Classical Music Self Defense

Back in the old days, there was no such thing as an orchestra like we know it. Today we have a standardized group of instruments that give performances on stage without all the diva singers. What are the old days? Let’s say the Renaissance, roughly 1450 to 1600 AD. Then opera is invented in 1600 and there is now an opera orchestra consisting of usually fewer than 20 instruments.

We go forward in time and the opera orchestra is pulled out of the pit and put on stage for performances of their own. Without the diva singers, of course. Producers of orchestra concerts are doing their best to find repertoire for the orchestras to play, but there is a certain lack of quantity of just instrumental music to perform. They resort to excerpting instrumental pieces out of operas, oratorios and other larger vocal structures, and performing these excerpts by themselves…

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