ETYM Italian See Concert.
A composition for orchestra and a soloist.
Composition, usually in three movements, for solo instrument (or instruments) and orchestra. It developed during the 18th century from the concerto grosso form for string orchestra, in which a group of solo instruments (concerto) is contrasted with a full orchestra (ripieno).
Corelli and Torelli were early concerto composers, followed by Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach (Brandenburg Concertos). Mozart wrote about 40 concertos, mostly for piano. Recent concertos by Ligeti (Double Concerto 1972 for flute and oboe), Berio (Concerto for Two Pianos 1972–73), and Carter (Violin Concerto 1990) have developed the concerto relationship along new lines.