concerto grosso

concerto gros·​so | \ -ˈgrō-(ˌ)sō How to pronounce concerto grosso (audio) , -ˈgrȯ- How to pronounce concerto grosso (audio) \
plural concerti grossi\ -​ˈgrō-​(ˌ)sē How to pronounce concerti grossi (audio) , -​ˈgrȯ-​ \

Definition of concerto grosso

: a baroque orchestral composition featuring a small group of solo instruments contrasting with the full orchestra

Examples of concerto grosso in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Scored for chamber orchestra, the piece functions as something of a concerto grosso. Peter Dobrin,, "Wanamaker organist Conte brings thrilling color to mostly drab Philadelphia Orchestra program," 6 May 2018 His knack for keeping textures spotless, rhythms sharply etched, yielded an idiomatic rendition of Bartok’s mid-20th-century take on the baroque concerto grosso. John Von Rhein,, "Schiff moves with conviction from piano bench to CSO podium," 3 Nov. 2017 As the piece proceeds, players return to their other instruments — strings, clarinets, flutes, cello, and marimba — and a kind of concerto grosso emerges. Peter Dobrin,, "With Higdon piece, Eighth Blackbird makes expert debut with Philadelphia Orchestra," 20 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'concerto grosso.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of concerto grosso

1776, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for concerto grosso

Italian, literally, big concerto

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about concerto grosso

Time Traveler for concerto grosso

Time Traveler

The first known use of concerto grosso was in 1776

See more words from the same year

Statistics for concerto grosso

Cite this Entry

“Concerto grosso.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on concerto grosso Encyclopedia article about concerto grosso

Comments on concerto grosso

What made you want to look up concerto grosso? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!