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Ignaz Pleyel was not a prolific composer of concertos by the standards of the age. His cultivation of the genre was sporadic and connected directly with his professional activities.
The earliest of the Sinfonia Concertantes dates from 1786 and was presumably composed for the Pleyel-Schönfeld concerts in Strasbourg. A possible performance took place in 1786 – there is a report of a work by Pleyel described as a “Grande” Symphony in which one instrument starts after another” – and a rather stronger case to be made for a performance the following year of a “Sinfonie Concertante a neuf instrumens” of which the present work is the only known contender.
Ignaz Pleyel adopted two structural and stylistic types in his sinfonies concertantes. The first of these (including Benton 111) is largely symphonic in orientation but it differs from the conventional symphony in including prominent solo parts for a distinct concertato group. First movements are light in thematic development preferring instead to exploit the textural and timbral possibilities afforded by the unusual scoring of the works. All three of the sinfonies concertantes of this type include a theme and variations movement.