Symphony - a musical work, usually in a sonata cyclic form, intended for performance, as a rule, by a symphony orchestra; one of the most important genres of symphonic music. In addition to the orchestra, the symphony may include chorus and vocals (there are cantata symphonies); the symphony can come close to other genres, for example, there are symphonies-suites, symphonies-rhapsodies, symphonies-fantasies, symphonies-ballads, symphonies-legends, symphonies-poems, symphonies-requiems, symphonies-ballets, symphonies-drama (kind of cantata) and theater symphonies as a kind of opera.
Notable phenomena in the history of the symphony as a genre were the works of such composers as Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvořák, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Cesar Frank, Jan Sibelius, Paul Hindemith, Anton Webern. In Russian music, the foundation of the symphony genre was laid by the works of Anton Rubinstein, Peter Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Glazunov, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitry Shostakovich, Moses Weinberg.
Due to the similarity in structure with a sonata, a sonata and a symphony are united under the general name "sonata-symphonic cycle". In the classical symphony (in the form in which it is presented in the works of the Viennese classics Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven) there are usually four parts.
The first part, at a fast pace, is written in sonata form;
2nd, in slow motion, is written in the form of variations, rondo, rondo-sonata, a complex three-part, less often in the form of a sonata;
3rd — scherzo or minuet — in the three-part form da capo with a trio (that is, according to the A-trio-A scheme);
The 4th part, at a fast pace, is in sonata form, in the form of rondo or rondo-sonata.
There are symphonies with both a large and a smaller (up to single-part) number of parts.
A program symphony is one that is associated with well-known content set forth in the program (expressed, for example, in the title or epigraph) - for example, Beethoven’s “Pastoral Symphony”, Berlioz’s “Fantastic Symphony”, etc. The program was first introduced into the symphony of Dittersdorf, Rosetti and Haydn.