This concept appeared in the musical art in 1854: the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt gave the definition of "symphonic poem" to his orchestral composition "tasso", originally conceived as an Overture. This definition he wanted to emphasize that "tasso" is not just a software music composition. Very closely connected it is with the poetry of its content.
Franz Liszt. The symphonic poem tasso. Complaint and triumph"
Symphony orchestra of all-Union radio, dir. Nikolai Golovanov
Further, the Sheet has written twelve symphonic poems. The most famous among them - "prelude". The basis of her poem French romantic poet lamartin "prelude" (or rather "Prelude"), in which all human life is seen as a series of episodes - "preludes", leading to death.
In the work Sheet has been formed and the form most characteristic of symphonic poems: free, but with obvious features of Sonata and Symphony cycle (see the story of the Symphony), if it is to be fulfilled without interruption between the parts. In various episodes symphonic poem there is a similarity with the main sections of the Sonata form: the main and side parties exposition, development and recapitulation. And at the same time, several episodes of the poem can be seen as part of the Symphony.
After the Sheet many composers turned to his genre. The classics of Czech music of Bedrich Smetana has a cycle of symphonic poems, United General title of "My Motherland". Loved this genre of German composer Richard Strauss. Widely known for his "don Juan", "don Quixote", "the Merry pranks of till Eulenspiegel". Finnish composer Jean Sibelius wrote the symphonic poem "Kalevala", which, as a literary source, lies the Finnish national epic poem.
Russian composers of his orchestral compositions of this type prefer to give other definitions: Overture-fantasy, symphonic ballad, Overture, symphonic picture.
The genre of symphonic picture, common in Russian music, has some differences. Its composition is not related to the story and paints a landscape, portrait, genre or battle scene. Everyone is probably familiar symphonic such paintings as "Sadko" by Rimsky-Korsakov, "In Central Asia Borodin, "Baba Yaga", "dummy" and "enchanted lake" Liadov.
Another variety of this genre - symphonic fantasy, favorite Russian composers, is more freedom of design, often the presence of fantastic items.