Piano symphony Information

From Wikipedia

A piano symphony is a piece for solo piano in one or more movements. It is a symphonic genre by virtue of imitating orchestral tone colour, texture, and symphonic development.


An early piano symphony was written by Theodor Kullak and published in 1847. [1] French composer Charles-Valentin Alkan composed one, which was published in 1857. José Vianna da Motta wrote of it, "Alkan demonstrates his brilliant understanding of [symphonic] form in the first movement of the Symphony (the fourth Study [of his Op. 39]). ... The tonalities are so carefully calculated and developed that anyone listening to it can relate each note to an orchestral sound; and yet it is not just through the sonority that the orchestra is painted and becomes tangible, but equally through the style and the way that the polyphony is handled." [2]

Several decades later, Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji wrote his Third Piano Sonata (1922), which he described as a piano symphony. [3] Between the years 1938–1976, Sorabji wrote 6 piano symphonies. [4] Among these is also sometimes included his Piano Symphony No. 0 (1930–1931), which is the complete piano part of his otherwise unfinished 2nd Symphony for Orchestra. [4] [5]

Niels Viggo Bentzon described his Partita for Piano, Op. 38 (1945), as a "symphony for solo piano". [6]

The composer John White's Piano Sonatina No. 8 (1961) consists of six movements, of which the fifth is called "Symphony in Five Movements". [6]

Haskel Small has also composed a piano symphony. [7]

See also


  1. ^ "Symphonie de Piano, Op.27 (Kullak, Theodor) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download". imslp.org.
  2. ^ "Alkan: Symphony for solo piano". Hyperion Records.
  3. ^ Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji to Philip Heseltine, 19 June 1922, quoted in Sorabji: A Critical Celebration, ed. Paul Rapoport, Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1992, p. 245.
  4. ^ a b "Sorabji Resource Site: Titles of Works Grouped by Categories".
  5. ^ "The Sorabji Archive — Articles — Sorabji's Orchard: The Path to Opus Clavicembalisticum and Beyond (1/3)". www.sorabji-archive.co.uk.
  6. ^ a b Jonathan Powell, liner notes for Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Concerto per suonare da me solo, Jonathan Powell, (Altarus Records, AIR-CD-9081, 2006), p. 8.
  7. ^ http://www.jamesarts.com/releases/oct06/HS_102806.htm[ dead link]