Arcangelo Corelli  
Arcangelo Corelli
Arcangelo Corelli, (born Feb. 17, 1653, Fusignano, near Imola, Papal States [Italy]—died Jan. 8, 1713, Rome), Italian violinist and composer known chiefly for his influence on the development of violin style and for his sonatas and his 12 Concerti Grossi, which established the concerto grosso as a popular medium of composition.

Corelli’s mother, Santa Raffini, having been left a widow five weeks before his birth, named him after his deceased father, Arcangelo. There are no documented details on his first years of study. It is thought that his first teacher was the curate of San Savino, a village on the outskirts of Fusignano. Later, he went to Faenza and Lugo, where he received his first elements of musical theory. Between 1666 and 1667 he studied with Giovanni Benvenuti, violinist of the chapel of San Petronio in Bologna. Benvenuti taught him the first principles of the violin, and another violinist, Leonardo Brugnoli, furthered his education. In 1670 Corelli was initiated into the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna.

After a four-year stay in Bologna, Corelli went to Rome. Reliable evidence on his activities is lacking for the first five years, but it is likely that he played the violin at the Tordinona Theatre. Also, it is possible that in 1677 he made a trip to Germany, returning to Rome in 1680. On June 3, 1677, he sent his first composition, Sonata for Violin and Lute, to Count Fabrizio Laderchi of Faenza.


By Feb. 3, 1675, he was already third violinist in the orchestra of the chapel of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, and by the following year he was second violinist. In 1681 his 12 Trio Sonatas for Two Violins and Cello, with Organ Basso Continuo, Opus 1, dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, who had a residence in Rome, were published. The following year he took the post of first violinist in the San Luigi dei Francesi orchestra, a position he held until 1685, the year in which his 12 Chamber Trio Sonatas for Two Violins, Violone and Violoncello or Harpsichord, Opus 2, were published.

From September 1687 until November 1690, Corelli was musical director at the Palazzo Pamphili, where he both performed in and conducted important musical events. Corelli was particularly skilled as a conductor and may be considered one of the pioneers of modern orchestral direction. He was frequently called upon to organize and conduct special musical performances. Perhaps the most outstanding of these was the one sponsored by Queen Christina for the British ambassador, who had been sent to Rome by King James II of England to attend the coronation of Pope Innocent XII. For this entertainment, Corelli conducted an orchestra of 150 strings. In 1689 he directed the performance of the oratorio Santa Beatrice d’Este by Giovanni Lulier, called del violino, also with a large number of players (39 violins, 10 violas, 17 cellos, and additional instruments to make a total of more than 80 musicians). The same year, he entered the service of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, in which he spent the rest of his life.

In 1689 Corelli’s 12 Church Trio Sonatas for Two Violins and Archlute, with Organ Basso Continuo, Opus 3, dedicated to Francesco II, duke of Modena (he had been the Modenesi Count, 1689–90), was published; and in 1694 his 12 Chamber Trio Sonatas for Two Violins and Violone or Harpsichord, Opus 4, intended for the academy of Cardinal Ottoboni, also appeared.

It is probable that Corelli also taught at the German Institute in Rome and certain that in 1700 he occupied the post of first violinist and conductor for the concerts of the Palazzo della Cancelleria. Also in 1700 his 12 Sonatas for Violin and Violone or Harpsichord, Opus 5, dedicated to Sophia Charlotte of Brandenburg, was published.

In 1702 Corelli went to Naples, where he probably played in the presence of the king and performed a composition by the Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti. There is no exact documentation for this event; however, it is known that he met George Frideric Handel, who was in Rome between 1707 and 1708. In 1706, together with the Italian composer Bernardo Pasquini and Scarlatti, he was received into the Arcadia Academy and conducted a concert for the occasion.

Corelli did not live to see the publication of his Opus 6, consisting of 12 concerti grossi, which was published in Amsterdam the year following his death.

Guido Pannain

Encyclopædia Britannica

The youngest of five children, Corelli is thought to have received his first musical education from a priest in Faenza; but his formative period was to come later, at the age of 13, when he went to Bologna to study the violin. Not only did the city possess one of the largest churches, San Petronio, but it was also a leading centre of the Italian school of chamber music. Young Corelli's appetite for the violin together with Bologna's musical importance would prove an important combination.

At 17 he was admitted to the city's Accademia Filarmonica, and over the next few years he became one of Italy's leading violinists. He performed in churches and theatres all over Rome. This led him to enter the service of Queen Christina of Sweden, who had a home m the city and created her own academy of chamber musicians. Corelli began composing pieces for Christina and dedicated to her his Opus 1 collection of trio sonatas for two violins, cello, and harpsichord. He also worked as the leader of ten violinists in San Luigi in 1682 and went on to make annual visits there for over a quarter of a century.

In 1684 Corelli became a member of the Congregazione dei Virtuosi di Santa Cecilia. His increasing renown led him to play for Cardinal Pamphili, to whom he dedicated his Opus 2 chamber works. Corelli became music master to Cardinal Pamphili in 1687, and took up residence m the Cardinal's palace, where he performed trios with his fellow violinist Matteo Fornari and Spanish-born cellist Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier.


Eventually the Cardinal moved away from Rome, and in 1690 Corelli was adopted by Cardinal Ottoboni. He now directed regular Monday concerts as well as operatic performances and in 1694 dedicated a set of chamber trios to the Cardinal. After ten years he was appointed leader of the instrumental section of the Congregazione del Virtuosi di Santa Cecilia, and was eventually elected to the Arcadian Academy, an institution for the promotion of music.

His distinguished work brought Corelli into contact with the leading musical figures of the day. He played in Handel's Il trionfo del tempo in 1707 and led performances of that composer's La resurrezione the following spring. A year later he withdrew from public life to concentrate on revisions to his own work. As old age and worsening health intruded, he moved from the Cardinal's palace into his own home in 1712, where he died a year later. He was buried in the Pantheon in Rome close to the artist Raphael.

Corelli declared that the purpose of his music was to display the violin, and this is shown to best effect in his Concerti grossi, Opus 6. These 12 pieces were written over a period of many years and collected into a set published the year after Corelli's death. Mainly in three movements, each contrasts a group of solo instruments — two violins and harpsichord - against the rest of the orchestra. Eight of the works are da chiesa, in the church style, and have a serious character. The remaining four are da camera, of a lighter nature. Number 8, the "Christmas concerto", which is intended for performance on Christmas night, has enjoyed particular popularity. The pieces were a milestone in the development of the solo concerto as we know it today.

Arcangelo Corelli - 12 Concerti Grossi Opus VI - COMPLETE

Published on Aug 25, 2012
Playlist of Corelli's works: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=...

12 Concerti grossi opus VI: Concerti Grossi, con duoi Violini e Violoncello di Concertino obligati e duoi altri Violini, Viola e Basso di Concerto grosso ad arbotrio che si potranno radoppiare

Concerto 1 in D major

1. Largo-allegro 0:00
2. Largo-allegro 2:23
3. Largo 5:12
4. Allegro 8:28
5. Allegro 10:20

Concerto 2 in F major

1. Vivace-allegro 12:34
2. Largo-andante 16:00
3. Allegro 16:56
4. Grave-andante largo 18:46
5. Allegro 20:45

Concerto 3 in C minor

1. Largo 23:19
2. Allegro 25:35
3. Grave 27:37
4. Vivace 29:16
5. Allegro 31:48

Concerto 4 in D major

1. Adagio-allegro 34:19
2. Adagio 37:59
3. Vivace 39:59
4. Allegro 41:01

Concerto 5 in B flat major

1. Adagio-allegro 44:30
2. Adagio 47:51
3. Allegro 49:33
4. Largo 51:44
5. Allegro 52:44

Concerto 6 in F major

1. Adagio 55:05
2. Allegro 56:41
3. Largo 58:40
4. Vivace 1:01:53
5. Allegro 1:04:18

Concerto 7 in D major

1. Vivace-allegro 1:06:17
2. Allegro 1:08:31
3. Andante Largo 1:10:33
4. Allegro 1:12:59
5. Vivace 1:14:04

Concerto 8 in G minor Fatto per la notte di Natale (Christmas Concerto)

1. Vivace 1:15:12
2. Grave. Arcate, sostenuto e come stà 1:15:26
3. Allegro 1:16:41
4. Adagio-Allegro-Adagio 1:19:03
5. Vivace 1:22:16
6. Allegro 1:23:27
7. Pastorale, largo 1:25:39

Parte Seconda per Camera Preludii Allemande, Correnti, Gighe, Sarabande, Gavotte e Minuetti

Concerto 9 in F major

1. Preludio, largo 1:29:26
2. Allemanda, allegro 1:30:52
3. Corrente, vivace 1:33:34
4. Gavotta, allegro 1:35:05
5. Adagio 1:35:59
6. Minuetto, vivace 1:36:51

Concerto 10 in C major

1. Preludio, andante largo 1:38:30
2. Allemanda, allegro 1:40:36
3. Adagio 1:42:56
4. Corrente, vivace 1:43:56
5. Allegro 1:46:41
6. Minuetto, vivace 1:49:18

Concerto 11 in B flat major

1. Preludio, andante largo 1:50:56
2. Allemanda, allegro 1:53:13
3. Adagio-andante largo 1:55:35
4. Sarabanda, largo 1:57:49
5. Giga, vivace 1:59:06

Concerto 12 in F major

1. Preludio, adagio 2:00:23
2. Allegro 2:02:46
3. Adagio 2:05:14
4. Sarabanda, vivace 2:06:48
5. Giga, allegro 2:07:43

Sinfonia (WoO 1)
(to the oratorio Santa Beatrice d'Este)

1. Grave 2:10:43
2. Allegro 2:12:14
3. Adagio 2:14:00
4. Largo assai 2:14:35
5. Vivace 2:17:07

Sonata a Quattro (WoO 2)

1. Adagio- Andante largo 2:19:09
2. Allegro 2:20:30
3. Grave 2:22:00
4. Presto 2:23:13
5. Vivace 2:24:22


Rémy Baudet, leader & soloist
Sayuri Yamagata, soloist
Elisabeth Ingenhousz
Kees Koelmans
Pauline Kostense
Guya Martinini
Evert Jan Schuur
Marinette Troost
Annelies van der Vegt
Gustavo Zarba

Staas Swierstra
Marten Boeken
Deidre Dowling

Frank Wakelkamp
Jaap ter Linden
Albert Brüggen
Richte van der Meer  

Margaret Urquhart

Pieter-Jan Belder
Menno van Delft

Mike Fentross

Hank Heyink
David van Ooijen

Pieter-Jan Belder, conductor

Arcangelo Corelli, Concerto Grosso op. VI, n.4 (parte 1)
Arcangelo Corelli - La Follia
"Follia" Arcangelo Corelli
Dorothee Oberlinger (flauto dolce) ; Rodney Prada (viella di gamba) ; Olga Watts (clavicembalo) ; Le vie del Barocco, Palazzo Rosso, Genova. 09/07/2010
A. Corelli La Folia for violin and piano
Arcangelo Corelli - Trio Sonatas

Published on Sep 25, 2012
Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). Trio Sonatas
London Baroque
Charles Medlam

1. Sonata da Chiesa. Op.1 No, 9
in G major

2. Sonata da Chiesa. Op.1 No. 10
in G minor
Grave - Allegro

3. Sonata da Camera. Op.2 No. 4
in E minor
Preludio (Adagio)
Allemanda (Presto)
Grave (Adagio)
Giga (Allegro)

in G major
Largo - Allegro

5. Sonata da Chiesa. Op. 3 No. 5
In D minor
Grave - Andante

6. Sonata da Camera. Op. 4 No. 1
in C major
Preludio (Largo)
Corrente (Allegro
Allemanda (Presto)

7. Sonata. Op. 5 No. 3
in C major, for violin and basso continuo

8. Concerto grosso. Op.6 No. 5
Adagio - Allegro
Largo - Allegro

Arcangelo Corelli - Sarabande
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