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Corelli, Arcangelo

The Italian violinist-composer Arcangelo Corelli's career had an immeasurable impact on the next wave of musicians, not least on Handel, who collaborated with him in 1707 in Rome for a short period. Corelli was born in 1653 at Fusignano and trained in a famous artistic center, Bologna. His later career was primarily in Rome, where he worked for several years with the expelled Catholic Queen of Sweden, Cardinal Pamphili, and the young Cardinal Ottoboni, whose palace he resided in. He died and was buried in the Pantheon in January 1713, a token of the esteem in which he was being treated. The influence of Corelli relied to no small degree on his recorded instrumental music, especially 48 Trio Sonatas for two violins and basso continuo (usually harpsichord and cello), 12 Sonatas for violin and continuo, and 12 Concerti Grossi, compositions for string orchestra with two violins, cello, and harpsichord as a solo part. An exceptionally well-known series of variations on the famous dance-tune La folia, a melody often used by musicians of the time, includes the violin sonatas. The famous 'Christmas' Concerto, which involves a religious movement that sets the stage for Christmas, is Concerto grosso No. 8, to be performed on the night before the festival.


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