Symphonic Suite and Incidental Music

The suite was revived in about the middle of the 19th century.  However, instead of the traditional scheme of dances as written during the Baroque era, it presented a free succession of contrasting movements, usually national dances or ballet movements.  It was sometimes a series of extracts from a ballet, or incidental music to a play, such as Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  This work is perhaps the best example of the genre.  Incidental music often suggested a series of scenes, sometimes from a story.  It was usually for orchestra but also appeared in the literature for piano.