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A form of musical composition used mostly in the Baroque Era, the Baroque analogue of a jam session.

If a plain concerto features a single player on a single instrument, or occasionally two or three, the concerto grosso features several. It is usually made up of six movements, each featuring one instrument. Ideally, each player in the ensemble (except perhaps the basso continuo) gets a solo.

The first concerti grossi were written by Italian composer Alessandro Stradella in the late 17th Century. Later, concerti grossi by Arcangelo Correli established the form as something more than an experiment, and many 18th Century composers wrote their own concerti grossi.

One imagines Franz Josef Haydn faced with writing recital music for a passel of Esterhazys, each proficient to a greater or lesser extent on a different instrument, and none of whom could be favored over the others. Herr Haydn probably would have solved such a dilemma by writing a concerto grosso.

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