- David Fenton
A composition for piano and three other instruments, usually violin, viola and cello. The form grew out of the accompanied keyboard divertimentos of the 1750s to 80s (see Accompanied keyboard music) and is loosely related to the early keyboard concerto; many concertos were published for keyboard with two violins and bass instrument (cello). Before about 1780 that scoring was preferred in many quartets; works with viola started to appear in significant numbers from 1780 to 1800, during which time the two-violin scoring was especially common in arranged quartets published in Paris. From 1800 onwards the scoring for viola was more common, although a separate tradition developed of quartets for keyboard with miscellaneous (including wind) instruments.
In England and France, the accompanied sonata tradition (with the keyboard part as the central focus and the strings lightly accompanying) held sway during the early period (works by Tommaso Giordani, Charles Avison, Garth and Pugnani in England; Gaetano Boni, Bonjour and J.A. Bauer in France; and Giardini, J.-F. Edelmann, J.S. Schröter, Venanzio Rauzzini in both), while in Vienna and elsewhere concerto-like works by Vanhal and G.C. Wagenseil were widely disseminated. Most works from before ...