ISSN 1565-0618
Volume 1 (Summer, 1999)
Copyright © 1997 by the Israel Musicological Society. All rights reserved. This document and all portions thereof are protected by Israeli and International Copyright Laws. Material contained herein may be copied and/or distributed for educational and research purposes only.

The Symphonies of Antonio Brioschi: Aspects of Sonata Form

Sarah Mandel-Yehuda

KEYWORDS: Symphony, Sonata form, Antonio Brioschi, Eighteenth-century music, Analysis, Form, Fonds Blancheton.

ABSTRACT: The article investigates tonal, thematic, and textural aspects of sonata form in the movement structures of twenty-six symphonies from the 1730s and early-1740s by the Italian composer Antonio Brioschi (active ca. 1725–ca. 1750). It discusses expository events as well as aspects of development and recapitulation of the musical material. In addition, the article provides an account of the major eighteenth-century manuscript source of the works—a French collection known as Fonds Blancheton—and considers some general stylistic characteristics of the music.


[1.1] The article deals with aspects of sonata form in recently rediscovered symphonies by Antonio Brioschi (active ca. 1725–ca. 1750). An Italian composer still little known, Antonio Brioschi is gradually being recognized with respect to his symphonies written early in the history of this genre in the eighteenth century.{1} In fact, he seems to have been more prolific as a symphonist in the period prior to 1740 than any other composer, including perhaps his senior and better-known Milanese counterpart Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700/1–1775).{2} Antonio Brioschi worked in or near Milan and yet his symphonies were disseminated widely outside of Italy in the eighteenth century. This is evident by the multiple copies surviving in manuscripts and prints preserved in some thirty libraries in Europe and the United States, as well as by listings in a number of eighteenth-century catalogs; the largest sources exist in Paris, Prague, Stockholm, and Darmstadt. To cite just one example: different eighteenth-century manuscript copies of parts for a Brioschi symphony in B-flat major are found in Ancona, Paris (Fonds Blancheton Op. II/54, see the discussion later on), Skara, Stockholm (three different copies), and Washington D. C.; two different eighteenth-century scores are preserved in Lund and Stockholm; and the work is listed in the Breitkopf Catalog of 1762.{3}


[2.1] The present analysis is based on an examination of twenty-six symphonies by Antonio Brioschi, twenty-five of which are included in an eighteenth-century manuscript collection, Fonds Blancheton, now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris.{4} A large and important source, the collection contains parts for three hundred instrumental works by over a hundred composers, arranged in six opuses of Sinfonie (Op. IV is lost) and one opus of Concerti. The Brioschi symphonies are: Op. I/2, 11, 12, 32, 33, 36, 38, 39, 48, 49; Op. II/54, 55, 59, 61, 64, 65, 67, 72, 73, 80, 81; Op. III/148; Op. V/206, 226; and Op. VI/295. Three of these works are erroneously ascribed to other composers in the Fonds Blancheton: to Antonio St. Martini (Op. III/148), Kelleri (Op. V/226), and Blanchini (Op. VI/295). Although the Fonds Blancheton attributes twenty-eight works to Brioschi, four seem doubtful (Op. I/42, Op. V/203, 205, 212), one is probably spurious, written by Ferdinando Galimberti (Op. III/101), and Op. I/44 is apparently a chamber trio and not a symphony.{5}

[2.2] The symphonies were copied between ca. 1740–ca. 1744 by Charles Estien for Pierre Philibert de Blancheton (1697–1756), a music patron and member of the Parliament of Metz from 1724.{6} Works from the first two opuses were most likely copied by 1741;{7} and, as cited above, twenty-one of the twenty-five symphonies of Antonio Brioschi in the collection belong to these first two opuses. We have no further knowledge about the composition dates of Brioschi’s Fonds Blancheton symphonies except for the information about a performance of the G-major symphony Op. I/32 in Casale Monferrato on 10 October 1733,{8} and the existence of an Italian manuscript copy dated 1734 of the D-major symphony Op. II/67.{9}

[2.3] The group of symphonies in the Fonds Blancheton constitutes half of Antonio Brioschi’s output in the genre. They are listed in Jan LaRue’s  A Catalogue of 18th-Century Symphonies (except for Op. I/2).{10} Seven have recently been published in modern editions.{11} An additional symphony by Brioschi, in E-flat major, which is dated 1734 in an Italian manuscript copy located in Casale Monferrato, is included in the present discussion—although not found in the Fonds Blancheton—because, like the two dated symphonies mentioned earlier, it is one of the rare dated symphonies from the 1730s.{12}

[2.4] As is common in early symphonies, these twenty-six symphonies of Antonio Brioschi are basically scored for strings
a 4 (two violins, viola, bass; eighteen symphonies) or a 3  (two violins, bass; eight symphonies). The Fonds Blancheton manuscripts also point to the practice of occasionally playing flutes colla parte, with the violins doubled; to the participation of a cembalo; and, in the trio symphonies, to the addition of violas that double the bass an octave higher. The works are three-movement cycles in the order fast–slow–fast. Connected second and third movements occur in just four symphonies (Op. I/48, 49, Op. II/54, 81); however, the movements are not connected in some of the concordant sources for Op. II/54 and 81. The keys of the symphonies are all major, and we find a variety of them: B-flat (eight symphonies), D (six), E-flat (five), G (four), A, C, and F (one symphony in each key). While the outer movements maintain the same key, most of the middle movements migrate to either the relative or parallel minor keys, and few are written in the subdominant or dominant keys.


3.1. General

[3.1.1] All fifty-two outer, fast movements are two-part structures. Each part is repeated and the movements can therefore be described as “extended two-reprise” forms.{13} Part I of every movement corresponds to a sonata-form exposition: it introduces the thematic material and articulates the harmonic movement from the tonic to the dominant key. Taking into account this tonal plan, I–V, Charles Rosen’s description of a sonata-form exposition as a “large-scale dissonance” that “takes on the character of a polarization or opposition” may well be applied to these expositions.{14} An authentic cadence in the secondary key ends Part I of all these movements.

[3.1.2] Part II of all the opening movements and eighteen of the twenty-six finales contains a development section followed by a recapitulation section. The recapitulation opens with a double return of the tonic key and the expository primary thematic. What takes place later in the recapitulation section does not fully exemplify Edward Cone’s “sonata principle,” which “requires that important statements made in a key other than the tonic must either be re-stated in the tonic, or brought into a closer relation with the tonic, before the movement ends.”{15} In Brioschi, the musical material coming after the restatement of the primary theme or themes is often reformulated; yet reformulated or not, the material adheres to the tonic key (more about this later on).

[3.1.3] Thus, these movements feature a two-part harmonic plan—Parts I and II—combined with a three-part thematic plan—exposition, development, and recapitulation sections. This same layout is the basic construction of the sonata-form stereotype as perceived today. Recent viewpoints of sonata form generally consider jointly the harmonic aspect of the form (given more emphasis in eighteenth-century theoretical writings about form) and the thematic aspect (emphasized in nineteenth-century theories of sonata form).{16} Sometimes classified as “first-movement sonata form” or “sonata-allegro,” the form of these movements is labeled here “full sonata form.” There are six slow movements with similar forms as well (see Table 1);{17} the slow-movement expositions in minor keys modulate to the mediant key.

Table 1: Brioschi Fonds Blancheton movements in sonata form

[3.1.4] Other types of sonata form in the Brioschi symphonic movements are reported in Table 1. Among the slow movements there are six with a two-part organization that, unlike the movements described earlier, has no repeats. Furthermore, while Part I corresponds to a full sonata-form exposition, Part II does not: it consists rather of a recapitulation section (with no development section); hence the adoption of Jan LaRue’s term here, “exposition-recap” (another familiar term is “slow-movement” sonata form).{18} This type of sonata form appears in several first movements of Italian overtures from the 1730s, as for example Leonardo Leo’s overture to Amor vuol sofferenza (1739), and of course in many slow symphonic movements in the later part of the century.

[3.1.5] The form of two finales called here “binary sonata” features a recapitulation that starts with the expository secondary theme. Though not typical of Brioschi, as we have seen, this form is characteristic of the Mannheim symphonic style. Finally, among all the Brioschi movements, one middle movement in full sonata form has no repeats. As is known, this non-repeating type of sonata form is quite common in contemporary Italian overtures; and it occasionally appears in Sammartini’s symphonies from the 1740s and on, as for example the first movement in J-C 44 (before 1747) and J-C 57 (before 1749).{19}

[3.1.6] There are several binary and rounded binary forms in the Brioschi symphonies. Interestingly, most of them possess some sonata-form traits: they usually feature sonata-form expositions with clear thematic functions and they are generally as long as the movements in sonata form; perhaps they could be called semi-sonata forms. Binary forms are found in the slow movement of Fonds Blancheton Op. II/67 and in the finales of Op. I/11, 33, Op. II/81, Op. V/226, Op. VI/295, and of the Casale Monferrato E-flat-major symphony. The middle movements in Fonds Blancheton Op. I/36 and Op. V/206 are rounded binaries. It may be added here in conclusion that while all the Brioschi fast movements and sixteen slow movements are in either sonata or binary forms, the rest of the ten slow movements have unique or through-composed forms, nine of which adhere to one key, featuring no modulation to a contrasting key area.

[3.1.7] Antonio Brioschi’s sonata forms are often in a compact layout; they are to some extent dramatic, and they feature both local and long-range contrasts. The degree of differentiation and specialization of the thematic material in the exposition or the hierarchy of cadences that mark off the various structural divisions varies from one movement to another, as does the level of elaboration of the musical content. Harmony and harmonic rhythm are carefully balanced. The developments—regularly containing the richest harmonic language in the movement—generally have slower harmonic rhythm than the expositions and the recapitulations. The recapitulations are often harmonically the most stable in the movement, although they are sometimes enhanced by a modal shift to the tonic minor or a brief reference to the subdominant key. The following discussion begins with Part I of the movement, namely Antonio Brioschi’s expositions, then moves on to consider his developments and recapitulations (Part II).

3.2. Exposition/Part I

[3.2.1] A sharp contrast in the exposition between a loud, energetic P and a soft, lyrical S, a recognized convention in late-eighteenth- or nineteenth-century sonata forms, is not typical of Brioschi.{20} In Brioschi, while the harmonic contrast between P and S is always clear (I–V or i–III), the melodic and expressive contrast is frequently not. Furthermore, the contrast between the various phrases of P—ordinarily the longest thematic function within the Brioschi expositions—is sometimes greater than the contrast between P and S. In Fonds Blancheton symphony Op. I/11/I, for example, the contrast between 1P and 2P embraces all the musical parameters, including harmony, rhythm, texture, dynamics, and phrase structure (see Ex. 1). The resulting overall impression of tutti-solo resembles concerto style. Likewise, the P theme in Op. I/48/I is a “dualistic” theme (to become popular later in the century): it is a symmetrical period with contrasting 2+2 subphrases (Ex. 2).{21}

Ex. 1. Contrast between 1P and 2P; Op. I/11/I

Ex. 2. A “dualistic” P theme; Op. I/48/I

[3.2.2] Thematic contrast between P and S is minimal in the first-movement exposition of Brioschi’s Fonds Blancheton symphony Op. II/81, which has a so-called monothematic design. As shown in Ex. 3, Sa is a transposition of Pa in the key of V. Similarly, a strong reliance of S on material from P is featured in Fonds Blancheton Op. II/80/I, where 1S is based on Pax. In the middle movement of Op. II/55 the exposition has some monothematic qualities, since the phrases of S are built on those of P only in a reversed order: Pa, b, c – Sa (Pb), b (Pc), c (Pa, b). Cases of similar monothematic arrangements occur in contemporaneous symphonies too, such as the early Sammartini symphony J-C 39/III (where all of P returns as S) and the A-major symphony No. 8/III by the Bavarian composer Joseph Camerloher (1710–1743).{22} These and the Brioschi examples call to mind analogous procedures in the well-known monothematic expositions of Haydn.

Ex. 3: Monothematic plan; Op. II/81/I

[3.2.3] Almost all of the first-movement P themes in Brioschi are open-ended units, terminating with a half cadence on V. (This is characteristic of the early symphony; see for example Sammartini’s J-C 38, dated by 1732.) These themes, in fact, seem to act as a microcosm of the expositions which, like the P themes, progress from the tonic toward the dominant. Dominant pedal points at the end of P take place in about half of the Brioschi first-movement P themes. The pedal points enhance the “open-endedness” of P, expand its length, and contribute to a “motion-rest” effect in harmonic rhythm. They are characterized by an oscillation of dominant chords and second-inversion tonic chords in the style of the musette. Several are quite long, taking up large sections within P. Exx. 4-5 present two typical P themes. The syncopated rhythms, active second violin, and large leaps in the violins are Antonio Brioschi’s hallmarks. However, the emphasis on IV as an ornament of I in Ex. 5 (mm. 2–3) is an Italian device (found also in Ex. 2, m. 2) that can be seen in early symphonies; for example at the opening of a B-flat major symphony by Fortunato Chelleri (1686 or 1690–1757), who worked in Italy until 1725 and later on in Kassel.{23}

Ex. 4: P theme ending on V pedal; Op. II/55/I

Ex. 5: P theme; Op. II/67/I (dated 1734)

[3.2.4] After P, we find that most of the first-movement T themes in Brioschi end on V of the new key, while some end with a pedal on V of the new key. Such T themes as well as the few S themes that are preceded by a full rest in all the parts (as in Ex. 6) are the rule in later sonata-form expositions.{24} Concerning their expressive makeup, Antonio Brioschi’s T themes exhibit a wide range of melodic types, including lyrical types with sigh motives (Op. I/33/I) or ornamental types with trills (Op. I/48/I).

[3.2.5] The S themes in Brioschi are often not as stable as his P themes, since they have rests, staccatos, and sudden changes of dynamics from forte to piano at the subphrase level. Compared to other functions within the exposition, S has more stops and starts. Further, harmonic instability results in the many S themes that feature extensive use of parallel thirds and sixths, usually between the violins and often with the lower parts resting.

[3.2.6] Dominant harmony is emphasized in several S themes by using dominant pedal points, thereby contributing to a feeling of suspense and expectation for resolution which is given only in K. As indicated by Bathia Churgin, an unstable S is a characteristic trait in sonata-form movements during the Classic and Romantic periods.{25} We can see that this is true of Brioschi as well. Ex. 6, from the finale of Brioschi’s Op. II/72, illustrates an S theme on a V pedal point. Note that S is preceded by a full rest in all the parts. Continuity, however, is maintained by sustaining the dominant seventh chord with which T ends. This S theme is especially noteworthy for its long and dramatic rise to a climax and for the rhythmically active and imitative viola part. In Ex. 7, from the first movement of Op. I/33, the S theme is organized in a solo-tutti scheme. Both examples feature imitation, parallel thirds between the violins, and reduced texture.

Ex. 6: S over V pedal; Op. II/72/III

Ex. 7: A solo-tutti plan in S; Op. I/33/I

[3.2.7] The K themes confirm the secondary key by means of their final authentic cadence, which is the strongest cadence within the exposition in every sonata-form movement by Brioschi. Many K themes end energetically in a unison texture coordinated with one of the following melodic patterns in the secondary key: 4–5–1; 3–4–5–1; 6–3–4–5–1; and 6–4–5–1. Similar figures in the melody played in unison are also customarily employed as closing formulas in concertos of the period.

3.3. Development/Part II

[3.3.1] From the point of view of length and complexity, the developments in Brioschi (as well as in the Sammartini pre-1740 symphonies) seem to prepare the ground for the developments in Haydn’s early symphonies. Antonio Brioschi’s developments regularly tend to be long, averaging around one-third of the movement’s length.{26} They are complex, featuring a variety of techniques for working out the thematic material.

[3.3.2] The harmonic vocabulary in the Brioschi developments is varied. For example, it includes secondary dominant and diminished seventh chords. Modulations to the keys of the mediant and submediant degrees occur often in the major-mode movements; this change of direction in the harmony is described by Leonard Ratner as reaching a “point of furthest remove.”{27} As pointed out by Harold Andrews, a strong emphasis on the submediant key also characterizes Haydn’s first-movement developments of his major-mode symphonies, both early and late.{28}

[3.3.3] Brioschi’s developments make use of thematic material derived from the exposition, but new material is usually introduced as well. Thematic recombination (ars combinatoria) is an important technique operating in these developments, and, as is subsequently shown, in the recapitulations as well. It involves melodic and rhythmic motives from different themes of the exposition that are rearranged and linked to create new phrases. For example, in the first movement of Fonds Blancheton Op. II/61, the seven-measure phrase that opens the development combines over a dominant pedal point melodic and rhythmic ideas from three themes: Pax + 2Tax + 2Tay + Kb + Kc (see Ex. 8). More examples of thematic recombination are given in Ex. 11 and Ex. 13b.

Ex. 8: Thematic recombination; Op. II/61/I

[3.3.4] Another technique practiced in these developments is drastically varying the harmony and phrase rhythm of a given theme while retaining its basic motives. Some themes, especially S themes, undergo a modal change by way of transposition from major into the minor (usually in the key of iii or vi). In Op. II/72/III, for example, S is transposed into the key of the submediant (see Ex. 9; the expository S is given in Ex. 6). An example of a variant form of T employing change of phrase structure and harmony occurs in the recapitulation of Op. I/11/I and is given in Ex. 13b. In this example, Brioschi utilizes both variant presentation and thematic recombination. As with thematic recombination, we can see that variant forms of themes are found in the developments as well as in the recapitulation sections.

Ex. 9: A variant form of S; Op. II/72/III

[3.3.5] Brioschi’s development sections are more contrapuntal than his expositions (which are generally more contrapuntal than Sammartini’s). One may speculate that contrapuntally active developments became popular later in the century as an offshoot of these earlier stages of symphonic writing (and not necessarily as a reaction to the homophonic style). Brioschi’s developments usually open with independent part writing, sometimes employing a gradual textural buildup and imitation, as in Op. II/54/I (Ex. 10).

Ex. 10: Imitative texture at the opening of the development; Op. II/54/I

[3.3.6] The retransitions connecting the development to the recapitulation are handled with much care and invariably employ some kind of intensification or important contrast, such as reduced texture or chromatic melody. Dominant pedal-point retransitions are present in about half of the first movements and in all six slow movements in full sonata form. We do not find in Brioschi modulatory retransitions.{29} Typically, after the development’s main harmonic goal is reached (in major-mode movements it is often the key of iii or vi), there is a modulatory sequence that leads to a retransition on a dominant pedal point. In the first-movement development of Op. II/61, for example, after reaching the key of vi, a modulatory unit occurs, using a sequence of dominant seventh chords in a circle of fifths (F#–B–E–A). Then a dominant-pedal point RT in the home key, D, connects to the recapitulation (see Ex. 11). Note the use of reduced texture and thematic recombination in this example.

Ex. 11: Modulatory unit and retransition; op. II/61/I

[3.3.7] Besides the pedal-point retransitions, Brioschi uses one additional method for the linking of the development with the recapitulation: a short, one-measure (or less) “leadback.” This type of conjunction occurs when the development ends with an authentic cadence in the key of iii or vi; and it happens in half of the opening movements. In such instances, there is no separate retransition section. Instead, the melody of the “leadback,” played by the lower parts in parallel thirds or sixths, descends in stepwise motion from the tonic-chord notes in the key of iii or vi (which end the development section) to the tonic-chord notes in the main key (which start the recapitulation).

3.4. Recapitulation/Part II

[3.4.1] In early symphonies a recapitulation can be either exact or reformulated. The option of an exact recapitulation is found in symphonies by some of Antonio Brioschi’s contemporaries, as for example in the first movement of an F-major symphony (dated 1732) by the German composer Johann Gottlob Harrer (1703–1755) and the fast movements of a G-major symphony by the French Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705–1770) published in Paris 1740 by Leclerc as Op. 6/1 in Simphonies dans le gôut italien en trio.{30}

[3.4.2] The recapitulations in Brioschi, on the other hand, are reformulated after an exact—or in a few cases fairly exact—recall of P. Brioschi’s trend toward reformulation of the recapitulation is generally strong, though the degree of reformulation differs from one movement to another. He integrates in this section thematic ideas and developmental techniques from the development section. Like Brioschi, Sammartini reformulates his sonata-form recapitulations in all his pre-1740 symphonies except for J-C 39/I. So the Fonds Blancheton symphonies by Antonio Brioschi reveal that instances of reformulated recapitulations later in the century stem from an existing tradition, exemplified perhaps more extensively by Brioschi than by any other early symphonists except Sammartini.{31}

[3.4.3] Antonio Brioschi’s free treatment of the recapitulation encompasses many alterations, from small variations in the motives to significant modifications in texture, harmony, and the length and form of the phrases. Other techniques include thematic recombination and variant forms of themes. Excision of thematic material in the recapitulations usually involves (1) music from the transitions or secondary themes, or (2) expository phrase derived from previously heard expository material, or (3) musical material that has been put to use at length in the development section.

[3.4.4] Although Brioschi compresses the section by omissions, he customarily incorporates ideas from omitted material into varied themes or in newly created themes, using the device of thematic recombination. He also exploits a variety of other structural modifications, including a change of theme order, substitution of new themes, and integration of ideas from the development section. As a result, his recapitulations are interesting, irregular, and unpredictable. In a way, they function as second developments.

[3.4.5] The following outline of the first-movement recapitulation in Op. I/11 illustrates some of the devices mentioned and more. This recapitulation is slightly shorter than the exposition (Brioschi’s recapitulations generally tend to be somewhat condensed), 22 measures as compared to 24. Interestingly, Brioschi changes the themes’ order (see Table 2). This intricate developmental procedure is found in Sammartini too (J-C 34/I and 37/I for example), and Bathia Churgin refers to it as “thematic interversion.”{32} In Brioschi’s symphony Op. I/11/I, a varied 1K comes before S. Since the material of 1K derives from Tb, the placement of 1K in the recapitulation, after a variant form of Tb, makes sense, as if to point out the connection between the themes.

Table 2: Order of the themes in Op. I/11/I

[3.4.6] Written over a pedal point, 1Ka in Op. I/11/I contributes to the slowing down of the harmonic rhythm and balances the harmonic sequence preceding it. Note that the harmonic function is changed from a stable tonic pedal in the exposition to a tension-laden dominant pedal in the recapitulation (Ex. 12a and Ex. 12b; the addition of the seventh in the high register of the violins heightens the tension). Since the lowest note of the pedal point, C, is the same in both exposition and recapitulation, we have an example of a Brioschi pun (there are several such examples in the Brioschi symphonies—another connection with Sammartini).

Ex. 12a: 1Ka in the exposition; Op. I/11/I

Ex. 12b: The varied form of 1Ka in the recapitulation

[3.4.7] Table 2 also reveals that 2P, a special theme in reduced texture, minor tonic harmony, and syncopated rhythm (see Ex. 1), is omitted. Perhaps in compensation, Brioschi exploits the technique of ars combinatoria, so that a variant form of Tb supplies references from 2P; the theme also combines ideas from 1P, 1K, and 2K (see Ex. 13a and Ex. 13b). The original melodic and rhythmic content of Tb is kept, while modifications in harmony and phrase structure take place. Tb in the recapitulation is longer than the expository Tb (six measures as compared to three-and-a-half). A new three-measure phrase repeats sequentially replacing the original “xyy” subphrase structure. In addition, Brioschi reharmonizes the phrase with secondary dominant seventh chords of IV and V. Several other recapitulations in Brioschi tonicize the subdominant harmony; references to this practice are found in the discussions of sonata form by Heinrich Christoph Koch (1793) and Francesco Galeazzi (1796).{33}

Ex. 13a: Tb in the exposition; Op. I/11/I

Ex. 13b: The variant form of Tb in the recapitulation


[4.1] In The New Grove “Sonata form” article, James Webster explains that the rise of sonata form “was part of the unprecedented triumph of instrumental music – especially the new genres of the keyboard sonata, string quartet and symphony…,” and that “[f]or sonata form, the most important of these genres seems to have been the symphony.”{34} Heretofore, our knowledge and perspectives about the formal aspects of the music in this “new symphonic genre” have relied almost exclusively on the eighteen pre-1740 symphonies by the Milanese composer G. B. Sammartini. But now with the recent rediscovery of Antonio Brioschi’s music, the number of known symphonies from before 1740 has significantly increased. Moreover, the known Italian symphonic repertoire from that period is now roughly doubled. Consequently, the Brioschi symphonies help broaden our picture considerably regarding formal conventions practiced in the composition of symphonies in Brioschi’s time and place, and this includes the treatment of sonata form. As explained earlier, one could trace basic sonata-form elements in many movements of the twenty-six Antonio Brioschi symphonies from the 1730s and early-1740s. Hence, a close examination of Brioschi’s style in these movements may reveal part of the varied ways that were available to and chosen by composers in handling the flexible and open-ended sonata form.


1.I wish to acknowledge the assistance and support of Bathia Churgin and Neal Zaslaw. For recent studies of Antonio Brioschi’s music see Sarah Mandel-Yehuda, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Six Symphonies, Recent Researches in the Music of the Classical Era, vol. 51 (Madison: A-R Editions, 1998); her “Early Symphonic Style As Reflected in the Symphonies of Antonio Brioschi (fl. ca. 1725–ca. 1750) in the Fonds Blancheton” (Ph. D. dissertation, Bar-Ilan University, 1993); and Bathia Churgin, ed., Antonio Brioschi (active ca. 1725–ca. 1750): Three Symphonies (one symphony edited by Tilden A. Russell), The Symphony: 1720–1840, vol. A/III (New York: Garland, 1985). Bathia Churgin and the present author have co-authored the articles “Brioschi, Antonio” in the forthcoming revised edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and new Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.

2. By about 1740, we know of twenty-two symphonies by Brioschi and eighteen by Sammartini (though additional symphonies may be lost). All the eighteen Sammartini symphonies are published in Bathia Churgin, ed., The Symphonies of G. B. Sammartini. Vol. I: The Early Symphonies, Harvard Publications in Music, 2 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968); the final work in this volume, no. 19 is probably not by Sammartini.

3. For details see the Critical Report in Mandel-Yehuda, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Six Symphonies, No. 3.

4. Rés F. 441–446; the Fonds Blancheton originally belonged to the Conservatoire collection.

5. See Mandel-Yehuda, “Early Symphonic Style,” pp. 67–95.

6. See Lionel de La Laurencie, Inventaire critique du Fonds Blancheton de la bibliothèque du Conservatoire de Paris, Publications de la Société française de musicologie, 2 (Paris: E. Droz, 1930–31), I: 11–13.

7. See Churgin, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Three Symphonies, p. xiii.

8. The symphony was performed as part of the musical ceremonies for Hosha ‘na Rabbah in the Jewish community of Casale Monferrato. This information is based on an Italian manuscript copy located in Rossijskaja Gosudarstvennaja, Moscow, Guenzburg 807. See Ibid. p. xv; and Israel Adler, ed., Hosha ‘na Rabbah in Casale Monferrato 1733, Yuval Music Series, 3 (Jerusalem: The Jewish Music Research Center, 1992), p. x.

9. In the Biblioteca Civica Giovanni Canna, Casale Monferrato, No. 091.78 123.

10. Jan LaRue, A Catalogue of 18th-Century Symphonies. Volume I: Thematic Identifier (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988). See also Jan LaRue and David Cannata, “An Ancient Crisis in Music Bibliography: The Need for Incipits,” Notes 50/2 (1993): 508, 512–13. An unpublished thematic catalog of Antonio Brioschi’s music has been compiled by Bathia Churgin. Few works in other genres are known. Works attributed to Brioschi are listed in Marco Brusa and Attilio Rossi, eds., Sammartini e il suo tempo; fonti manoscritte e stampata della musica a Milano nel settecento, supplement to Fonti musicali italiane 1 (1996).

11. The Fonds Blancheton symphonies Op. II/54, 55, 67, 72 are published in Mandel-Yehuda, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Six Symphonies; symphonies Op. I/32, Op. II/81, and Op. VI/295 are published in Churgin, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Three Symphonies. Another edition of Op. I/32 appears in Adler, ed., Hosha ‘na Rabbah in Casale Monferrato 1733, pp. 12–33.

12. A modern edition of this work is included in Mandel-Yehuda, ed., Antonio Brioschi: Six Symphonies. The manuscript survives in the Biblioteca Civica Giovanni Canna, No. 091.78 124.

13. See Leonard G. Ratner, Classic Music: Expression, Form, and Style (New York: Schirmer Books, 1980), p. 217.

14. Charles Rosen, Sonata Forms, revised edition (New York: Norton, 1988), p. 229.

15. Edward T. Cone, Musical Form and Musical Performance (New York: Norton, 1968), pp. 76–77.

16. See Ratner, Classic Music, pp. 217–247; James Webster, “Sonata form,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), 17: 497–508 ; Eugene K. Wolf, “Sonata form,” The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 764–767; Mark Evan Bonds, Wordless Rhetoric: Musical Form and the Metaphor of the Oration (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991), pp. 1–52.

17. In addition to the Fonds Blancheton movements cited in Table 1, the first movement of the Casale Monferrato E-flat-major symphony has a full sonata form.

18. Jan LaRue, “Symphony, I,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), 18: 439. For the term “slow-movement” sonata form, see Rosen, Sonata Forms, pp. 106–112.

19. J-C numbers refer to catalog numbers as given in Newell Jenkins, and Bathia Churgin, Thematic Catalogue of the Works of Giovanni Battista Sammartini: Orchestral and Vocal Music (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976).

20. The following symbols will be used for the various thematic functions as presented in Jan LaRue, Guidelines for Style Analysis (second ed.; Warren, Michigan: Harmonie Park Press, 1992). P stands for themes in the primary key area, T for the transition from the first to the second key area, S for themes in the second key area, K for closing or cadential themes in the second key area, N for new material found after the exposition, and RT (not a LaRue symbol) for the retransition, connecting the development and the recapitulation sections. Themes are numbered as 1P and 2P. The letters a, b, and c stand for phrases, x, y, and z for subphrases, h for harmony, m for motive, and r for rhythm. Parentheses indicate the derivation of an idea.

21. All the musical examples in this article have been edited by the present author from the sources in the Fonds Blancheton.

22. Suzanne Forsberg dates the Camerloher symphony ca. 1735–1743 on the basis of its style; it was published by Venier ca. 1759. See Forsberg, “The Symphonies of Placidus von Camerloher (1718–82) and Joseph Camerloher (1710–43): Toward a Determination of Style and Authorship” (Ph. D. dissertation, New York University, 1990), pp. 234, 514; and her edition, Joseph Camerloher (1710–1743) and Placidus von Camerloher (1718–1782): Three Symphonies, The Symphony: 1720–1840, vol. C/II (New York: Garland, 1984), information sheet for Score 6.

23. The Chelleri symphony was published in Paris by Boivin and Leclerc ca. 1742–1751 in Six simphonies nouvelles. According to Churgin, its style points to late 1730s or early 1740s as the period of composition; see Bathia Churgin, ed., with the assistance of Martha Frohlich, Fortunato Chelleri (ca. 1690–1757): One Symphony, The Symphony: 1720–1840, vol. A/III (New York: Garland, 1985), p. xxviii.

24. See James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy, “The Medial Caesura and Its Role in the Eighteenth-Century Sonata Exposition,” Music Theory Spectrum, 19/2 (1997): 115–154.

25. Bathia Churgin, “Harmonic and Tonal Instability in the Second Key Area of Classic Sonata Form,” in Convention in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Music: Essays in Honor of Leonard G. Ratner, eds. Wye J. Allanbrook, Janet M. Levy, and William P. Mahrt (Stuyvesant, N. Y.: Pendragon, 1992), pp. 23–57. An example of S on a dominant pedal (answered by K on a tonic pedal) from Brioschi’s Op. I/32/I (before October 1733) is given on p. 31.

26. Approximately the same proportion is found in symphonies of the Viennese Georg Matthias Monn (1717–1750); see John Vinton, “The Development Section in Early Viennese Symphonies: A Re-valuation,” Music Review, 24 (1963): 13.

27. For the source of this practice and ways in which it was used by Classic composers, see Ratner, Classic Music, pp. 226–27.

28. Harold Lee Andrews, “The Submediant in Haydn’s Development Sections,” in Haydn Studies: Proceedings of the International Haydn Conference, Washington, D. C., 1975, ed. Jens Peter Larsen, Howard Serwer, and James Webster (New York: Norton, 1981), pp. 465–71.

29. For the different types of retransition, see Beth Shamgar, “On Locating the Retransition in Sonata Form,” The Music Review, 42 (1981): 130–43.

30. Harrer was Bach’s successor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. The dated score of his symphony is located in Leipzig, Musikbibliothek der Stadt Leipzig. A modern edition of the Guillemain symphony is published in Gerald Gastonguay, ed., Louis-Gabriel Guillemain (1705–1770): Four Symphonies, The Symphony: 1720–1840, vol. D/I (New York: Garland, 1984), Score 14.

31. For the extent of reformulation in late Haydn, see Eugene K. Wolf, “The Recapitulations in Haydn’s London Symphonies,” The Musical Quarterly, 52 (1966): 71–89. Churgin has reported that Sammartini’s sonata-form movements in his early- and middle-period symphonies exhibit a far stronger trend toward reformulation of the recapitulation than the early Haydn symphonies; see Bathia Churgin, “The Recapitulation in Sonata-Form Movements of G. B. Sammartini and Early Haydn Symphonies,” in Internationaler Joseph Haydn Kongress, Wien, 1982, ed. Eva Badura-Skoda (Munich: Henle, 1986), p. 136.

32. See Bathia Churgin, “The Symphonies of G. B. Sammartini” (Ph. D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1963), I: 220.

33. See Bathia Churgin, “Francesco Galeazzi’s Description (1796) of Sonata Form,” The Journal of the American Musicological Society, 21 (1968): 184.

34. Webster, “Sonata form,” p. 500.

Dr. Sarah Mandel-Yehuda,
Bar-Ilan University, Department of Music, Ramat-Gan, Israel 52900

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