john feeney


Quintet No.26 in B Flat Major

Alternative title
Dragonetti Quintet No.26
Domenico Dragonetti
John Feeney
Classical / Chamber music
Violin, Viola, Cello, Double bass
Scored for
Type of score
Full score
B flat major
1 to 2 from 2

One of Dragonetti's best!
Quintet No. 26 is cast in a two-movement framework.This quintet begins with an Andante con moto in Bb major. The theme of this movement is derived from the basic outline of the melody to the contemporaneously popular canzonetta, “Caro mia bene, deh pensa a me.” The ternary form here is marked by modal contrast; in this case, the G minor middle section serves as a vehicle for virtuosic display. The 6 / 8 Allegretto duplicates this formal arrangement, alternating a minor-mode A section with a contrasting central section in the relative major.
A striking feature of this Allegretto movement is the extended use of the first violin which takes on a much more active role. It is, in fact, often separated from the accompanimental lower strings, serving in effect as a secondary, albeit modest, solo voice. The violin frequently provides contrapuntal support to the solo double-bass line as well as engaging in call-and-response passages with the soloist at several points in the movement. It has been suggested that this type of interplay between violin and solo double bass may have led Dragonetti – and his contemporary promoters – to utilize the term concertone for some of these quintet pieces. This term was used at the turn of the nineteenth century as a synonym for concerto grosso. In this sense, it was analogous also to the term sinfonia concertante, that is to say, a work for more than one solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment. A performance of a concertone (literally, “big concerto,” just as violone means “big viol”) by Dragonetti is listed in the program from the first of a series of benefit concerts mounted by the composer / double bassist at the King’s Theatre in London on 8 May 1795. Since no works of in the true sinfonia concertante style are extant in Dragonetti’s manuscripts, the assumption is that the quintets that feature such interaction between the violin and solo double-bass lines might indeed be characterized as concertoni in the contemporary nomenclature.

Upload date
14 Mar 2013


Sheet music file including a license for an unlimited number of performances, limited to one year.
6.00 USD
PDF, 0.96 Mb (23 p.)


Michał Bylina
03 Jun 2014
A good explication of what concertone means! Thank you!
John Feeney
23 Mar 2013
sound sample from the CD Dragonetti's New Academy, Vol. ll- available through iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Digstation and many others-

Log in to post a comment