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Musical work for orchestra inspired by an extramusical story, idea, or program, to which the title typically refers or alludes. It evolved from the concert overture, an overture not attached to an opera or play yet suggestive of a literary or natural sequence of events. Franz Liszt, who coined the term, wrote 13 such works. Famous symphonic poems include Bedrich Smetana's The Moldau (1879), Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1894), Paul Dukas's The Sorceror's Apprentice (1897), Richard Strauss's Don Quixote (1897), and Jean Sibelius's Finlandia (1900).
Variants of SYMPHONIC POEM
symphonic poem or tone poem
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on symphonic poem, visit Britannica.com.