Solo Concerto

The solo concerto, along with the concerto grosso, were the final instrumental contributions of the Baroque period.  These two forms differed only in that the solo concerto used a single instrument as soloist, and the concerto grosso used a group of soloists.  Three movements are most frequently employed:  first, an allegro; then a slow movement in a closely related key; and finally, a shorter fast movement in the original key.  Soloists and orchestra may be given different themes, but usually all of the thematic material is presented by the full group and then developed by the soloist or soloists in turn.  The solo concerto and the concerto grosso were at times designed to display the technical virtuosity of the soloists.  As well, they offered the Baroque composer the possibility of combining the concertato ideas, the polarity of bass and treble melody, the concept of clear major-minor tonality, and the use of a number of separate movements into a single idealized instrumental form.

(see also Concerto)