symphony = long classical work?

Michael Covarrubias mcovarru at PURDUE.EDU
Sat Dec 4 01:24:43 UTC 2010

On Dec3, 2010, at 12:39 AM, Herb Stahlke wrote:

> In an Advent liturgy built around selections from Handel's Messiah, I
> came across the wording
> Quiet descends upon the concert hall as the conductor raises his baton
> to begin the overture of a familiar symphony--Handel's Messiah.
> I googled "Handel symphony" and the first several pages were all links
> to performances of Messiah and the names of the symphony orchestras
> performing.  I didn't find symphony used in this sense.  OED also does
> not have this meaning, although there are one or two meanings found up
> into the mid 19th c. that are close.  I couldn't find the usage in
> Wiktionary or Urban Dictionary.
> Is "symphony" going the way of "novel" or is this a nonce occurrence?
> Herb

possibly complicating matters is that the overture to the messiah is titled 'symphony'.


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