But once the tape was rolling, Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani let the excitement of superlative music making be their only guide, giving free rein to their boundless creativity and virtuosity and embracing the improvisational spirit that this music requires. Petersburg, Stockholm, Constantinople, and even America he was known to be a favourite composer of U. It can be said without any exaggeration that Corelli was the first world-famous composer. Yet, for all his celebrity, only a handful of works have come down to us, with the Violin Sonatas op. The sonatas presented here come from the second half of the op. The relatively simple nature of these movements provides scope for all sorts of ornamentation and improvisation.
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Deutsch Arcangelo Corelli was born into a wealthy family in the small Italian town of Fusignano in His musical studies began in earnest when he moved to Bologna in ; four years later he was admitted to the Accademia Filarmonica there. He regularly performed at the highly elaborate church services that were major musical attractions in Rome, as well as frequently taking part in oratorios and operas.
In about he entered the service of the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden as a chamber musician. To this remarkable lady, a discerning music-lover who had abdicated her throne and embraced Roman Catholicism in , Corelli dedicated his first printed collection of trio sonatas Op 1, The movements of the church sonatas are characterized by tempo indications only, and the fast ones are often fugal; the sonata da camera is typically a linked group of dances, preceded by a prelude.
Broken-chord figurations form the basis of the short Allegro that follows before the flourishes return, this time in the dominant. The central lyrical Adagio in sarabande rhythm is sandwiched between two fugal movements, the second based on the same broken-chord idea. Op 2 No 4 opens with a Preludio in a lilting triple-time and a fast Allemanda. The Spaniard Lulier and Corelli frequently collaborated in the production of oratorios, Lulier providing the vocal music and Corelli the sinfonias.
These are more elaborate than the first set, exploiting the virtuosity of the players of all three instruments. Then comes a Vivace, in which the cello shows its paces and an Allegro in which the violinists do the same; the sonata ends with an exciting fugue. When his patron Pamphili moved to Bologna in , Corelli was taken up by the young Cardinal Ottoboni and took part in the famous academies held in the Ottoboni Palace every Monday evening. To Ottoboni was dedicated another set of Sonate da camera Op 4, Op 4 No 3 opens with a Preludio built over a sturdy bass line.
This is followed by three dances which are as unlike their French counterparts courante, sarabande and gavotte as one could wish. The large musical establishments of his wealthy patrons gave Corelli the chance to develop his best-known and most influential works, the orchestral concerti grossi.
Although they were sometimes performed by enormous orchestras of over a hundred players, these were probably originally played by a domestic ensemble of about fifteen musicians. But they were never published in his lifetime, even though at his death in Corelli had just put the finishing touches to an edition of twelve.
Corelli was one of the most sought-after violin teachers in Italy—his distinguished pupils included Castrucci, Gasparini, Geminiani, Bonporti and Locatelli—and the set of violin sonatas he dedicated to Electress Sophia Charlotta of Brandenburg Op 5, were landmarks in the history of violin playing.
Over forty further editions of the work appeared during the eighteenth century; Geminiani even produced a successful arrangement of them as concerti grossi. And lest the role of the accompanists be forgotten, the sonata ends with a sequence of dazzling semiquavers for the basso continuo. In England, arrangements of the Op 5 sonatas for recorder and continuo appeared in which the formidable double-stops are negotiated by frantic broken-chord playing. In about , two of them appeared anonymously in London in highly competent arrangements for the still-popular viola da gamba.
But even though there was a Corelli craze in England at that time, these were probably not a local product; a manuscript containing these arrangements and similar versions of the rest of the Op 5 set surfaced in Paris some years ago. Stylistically, however, they seem closer to North German than French writing for the viol. In each case the solo part is played an octave lower on the viol than on the violin; Op 5 No 11 originally in E has been further transposed down a tone to D major, an excellent key for the gamba.
La Sonate en sol majeur, op. Seine musikalischen Studien begannen ernsthaft, als er nach Bologna zog. Dieser bemerkenswerten Dame, einer anspruchsvollen Musikliebhaberin, die abdankte und sich zum katholischen Glauben bekannte, widmete Corelli seine erste gedruckte Sammlung von Triosonaten op. Die Sonate in G-Dur op. Zwei Jahre darauf wurde Corelli offiziell zum Musikdirektor des Kardinals ernannt und zog in dessen Palazzo ein.
Die letzte Triosonate aus der Sammlung, op. Corellis Sammlung von Kirchensonaten op. Die Sonate endet mit einer erregten Fuge. Die Concerti grossi erschienen zu Lebzeiten Corellis nicht im Druck.
Noch viele Jahre danach wurden sie am 8. Geminiani bearbeitete sie sogar zu Concerti grossi und hatte damit Erfolg. In England erschienen die Sonaten op.
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