Sinfonia ( Italian , from ancient Greek σύν “together” and ancient Greek φωνή “sound”) has been the term for (mostly relatively short) instrumental pieces within larger vocal works (e.g. cantatas , operas ) since the beginning of the 17th century , later also in cyclic instrumental forms ( suite ). In the 17th century , the terms Sinfonia (for example with Francesco Corbetta and his student Giovanni Battista Granata ) and Sonata (as with Arcangelo Corelli ) were interchangeable.
In some cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach , a sinfonia forms the opening movement, for example in the cantatas BWV 4 , BWV 12 , BWV 42 , BWV 52 and BWV 156 . A well-known sinfonia by Bach is the pastoral at the beginning of the second cantata of the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). In the cantata BWV 76 , a sinfonia opens the second part of the cantata, which was originally played after the sermon. In the cantata BWV 35 there is a sinfonia at the beginning of the cantata and another sinfonia at the beginning of the second part after the sermon.
In the 18th century , the Neapolitan opera symphonia, which was also performed independently of opera in so-called academies , broke away from its function as an opera overture . Especially the Neapolitan Opera Symphony with its three parts (fast-slow-fast) and its concise opening movement, which also contains three repetitive parts with a modulation plan (|: TD: ||: DT | TT: |), is then with its germinal sonata form the forerunner of the symphony .
In the pre-classical sinfonia the strings develop their central position. The winds (mostly two horns and two oboes) take on the accompanying function, whereby the figured bass is omitted. In contrast to the baroque, the style of the pre-classical symphonia is harmoniously simple, rich in contrast and cantilever . In addition, a second topic is emerging.
Giovanni Battista Sammartini is particularly popular in northern Italy . In Mannheim , the court orchestra of Elector Karl Theodors , based in Mannheim under Johann Anton Wenzel Stamitz , the founder of the Mannheim School , Franz Xaver Richter and Ignaz Holzbauer, achieved European fame as a modern pre-classical orchestra. In addition, the Vienna School with Georg Christoph Wagenseil and Matthias Georg Monn is important for the development of the pre-classical symphonia.
- Marc Honegger, Günther Massenkeil (ed.): The great lexicon of music. Volume 7: Randhartinger - Stewart. Updated special edition. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau a. a. 1987, ISBN 3-451-20948-9 , p. 363.
- James Tyler: A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 2011, ISBN 978-0-253-22289-3 , pp. 118-153.
- Dtv-Atlas Musik, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Munich 2001, p. 153, ISBN 3-423-08529-0