Date of Degree
DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
Michael S. Eckert
The term symphonie concertante refers to a multi-movement orchestral work of symphonic genre for two or more solo instruments and an orchestra. The symphonie concertante emerged in Paris around 1770, and during first two decade of its existence the genre was primarily a French one. This genre flourished during the second half of the eighteenth century and satisfied the public demand for solo instruments in the symphonies as well as the growing taste for virtuosity that audiences favored.
The earliest composers were Mannheimers and Parisians, and the first symphonies concertantes published were mostly by French composers. The principal Parisian symphonie concertante composers were Giovanni Guiseppe Cambini, Jean-Baptiste Davaux, François Devienne, François-Joseph Gossec, Ignace Pleyel and Chevalier Joseph de Saint-Georges. Jean-Baptiste Davaux (1742~1822), a native of La Cote-St André, was first in popularity during the 1770s and 1780s. His earliest work dates from about 1772 and his reputation grew immeasurably during the years followed. Davaux's fame persisted well into the nineteenth-century because of his symphonies concertantes. Despite its great popularity during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, however, the symphonie concertante has not received much attention in the scholarship, and very limited research has been done on Davaux and his symphonies concertantes.
My dissertation examines the symphonies concertantes of Jean-Baptiste Davaux, who is considered by the French scholars to be one of the originators of the genre. The dissertation comprises the first in-depth study of the formal structure and social function of the symphonies concertantes. Because the formal structure of symphonie concertante has been largely ignored heretofore, detailed formal analyses of these symphonies concertantes clarifies the formal definitions of the genre found in theoretical treatises and music criticism of the era. The purpose of the study is to clarify the genre's relation to the classical concerto form, formulate its theoretical and formal definition, and help readers to understand its musical and sociological significance in eighteenth-century concert life. Moreover, an edition of the extant symphonies concertantes by Davaux, transcribed for the first time from the eighteenth-century printed source, is included as an appendix.
Copyright 2008 Kyung-Eun Kim