A symphony is a baroque genre which preceded an opera or oratorio, and developed from the Italian Overture. It is a self-contained piece, with a quick-slow-quick pattern. It expanded significantly during the time of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
The symphony became arguably the most important genre of the Classical period, and were certainly the most important genre in public concerts - new composers could make a name for themselves from a successful symphony. This is different to a concerto in that the focus is on the composer rather than the performer.
- Known as the "Father of the Symphony"
- Wrote at least 104 (known) symphonies
- Expanded the form into 4-movement pattern
- This became the convention for later composers
- Wrote over 40 symphonies
- Took the form from Haydn
- Developed orchestration
- Developed melodic writing, particularly second subjects
- Wrote only 9 symphonies
- Early symphonies are still Classical; late works are Romantic
- Expanded the orchestra further
- Expanded the overall duration from around 25 minutes to over an hour
- Developed thematic relationships and expanded tonal relationships