Arcangelo Corelli, The Bread of Life

Corelli Concerti Grossi opus 6Arcangelo Corelli was born in Fusignano in 1653 and he was raised in the musical surroundings of Bologna. Not in vain, he would be then granted the nickname of “il Bolognese”. However, it was Rome the place where Corelli spent the greater part of his career. In fact, he is to be found in the Eternal City from 1675 onwards as a member of various instrumental groups. Then he soon entered the service of the leading musical patrons: Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), then Cardinal Pamphili (1653-1730), and finally Cardinal Ottoboni (1667-1740). Rome was at that time a wonderful city for a young musician, brimming with artistic opportunities. Throughout his career, Corelli was able to rub shoulders with the most important composers of his day, including Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682), who gave him the idea of the concerto grosso, Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710) and Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) who were fellow members of the Accademia dell’Arcadia with him. Towards the end of his life, when Corelli directed the orchestra that gave the first performance of La Resurrezione, he also met George Frideric Handel.

All these encounters where a source of inspiration and many different influences which gave rise to a very personal style. Actually, most of Corelli’s works were quickly transformed into models copied innumerable times by others. Despite Corelli did not create any new genre, nor did he contribute any specific innovation to violin technique (he was a virtuosso violinist), he did compose sonatas and concerti grossi of such formal perfection that these works permeated the whole of European orchestral discourse over the ensuing decades.

When the printer and publisher Estienne Roger (1665/66-1722) issued the Concerti Grossi opus 6 in 1714, in Amsterdam, Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) had already been dead for some months. Corelli had reached an agreement and singed a contract in 1712 with Roger about the publication of his last work. Those of you who would like to enjoy an excellent performance of these concerti, you can draw on music label Outhere. The French violinist based in Spain Amandine Beyer and her instrumental ensemble Gli Incogniti have recorded the complete concerti grossi. And the same way Roger North (1651-1754) said about Corelli’s work in his day, this recording is “the bread of life” of every listener who wants to approach the origins of sonata form and the modern concerto.

Michael Thallium
Global Greatness Coach
Book your coaching here

You can also find me and connect with me on:

Facebook Michael Thallium and Twitter Michael Thallium

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>