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The Symphonie

1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 09 November 2008

The Early Music discovers the origins of Symphony, as part of Radio 3's month long celebration.
We all know what is now called a Symphony, but the term has had many varied uses. Lucie Skeaping tracks down the origins of the Symphonie and encounters medieval hurdy-gurdys, spinets and virginals, a tale that the dulcimer is as old as the Bible and a royal wedding, not to mention a whole host of overtures, interludes, sonatas, canzonas and concertos.

Music Played

12 items
  • Image for Georg Christoph Wagenseil

    Georg Christoph Wagenseil Symphony in C major, WV351

    Performers: L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Michi Gaigg (conductor)

    CPO 999 450-2

  • Image for Anon.

    Anon. Anon. - Edi be thu, heven-queenë

    Performers: Sequentia (with Symphonia: Hurdy Gurdy (12th C))

    Deutsche Harmonia Mundi GD 77019, Tr 3

  • Image for Giles Farnaby

    Giles Farnaby The old Spagnoletta

    Performers: Martha Gmunder (Spinet)

    EMI CDM7631442

  • Image for John Bull

    John Bull Galliard [d]

    Performers: Gary Cooper (Virginals)

    Dervorguilla DRVCD106

  • Image for Trad

    Trad Devil's Dream (tune from Playford's Dancing Master)

    Performers: Jim Couza (Dulcimer)


  • Image for Cristofano Malvezzi

    Cristofano Malvezzi Sinfonia a 5 from Intermedio II for La Pelegrina

    Performers: Taverner Consort/ Andrew Parrott

    EMI CDC7479982

  • Image for Giovanni Gabrieli

    Giovanni Gabrieli Surrexit Christus a 11 from Symphonie Sacrae II

    Performers: The Taverner Choir/ London Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble/ Andrew Parrott

    OISEAU LYRE 4368602

  • Image for Lodovico Grossi da Viadana

    Lodovico Grossi da Viadana La Romana from Sinfonia Musicali, Op 18

    Performers: Symposium Musicum Pragense

    KOCH 3-1620-2

  • Image for Alessandro Scarlatti

    Alessandro Scarlatti Sinfonia from Griselda

    Performers: Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin/ René Jacobs

    Harmonia Mundi HMC 801805.07

  • Image for Giuseppe Torelli

    Giuseppe Torelli Sinfonia

    Performers: Sandro Verzari/ Ensemble Seicentonovecento (dir. Flavio Colusso)


  • Image for Johann Stamitz

    Johann Stamitz Sinfonia Pastorale in D, Op.4 No.2

    Performers: Northern Chamber Orchestra/ Nicholas Ward

    NAXOS 8.554447

  • Image for Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn Symphony 18 (3rd movement)

    Performers: The Hanover Band/ Roy Goodman

    Hyperion CDA 66533


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