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Few genres of the last 250 years have proved so crucial to the course of music history, or so vital to public musical experience, as the symphony. This Companion offers an accessible guide to the historical, analytical and interpretative issues surrounding this major genre of Western music, discussing an extensive variety of works from the eighteenth century to the present day. The book complements a detailed review of the symphony's history with focused analytical essays from leading scholars on the symphonic music of both mainstream composers, including Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven and lesser-known figures, including Carter, Berio and Maxwell Davies. With chapters on a comprehensive range of topics, from the symphony's origins to the politics of its reception in the twentieth century, this is an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in the history, analysis and performance of the symphonic repertoire.