Notes and Editorial Reviews
10 Disc Set
An important release: new recordings of complete works by Corelli played on period instruments.
Who is these days the best-known Italian Baroque composer? This is unquestionably Vivaldi. Some items from his vast repertoire of music for strings, especially some of his concerti grossi, have more or less become omnipresent. But did Vivaldi invent the genre? Few people will know that Vivaldi was greatly indebted to his older fellow countryman Archangelo Corelli who lived his entire life in Rome, but also travelled throughout Europe on concert tours. Although Corelli left behind a relatively small oeuvre his influence on a later generation of composers in western Europe can hardly be overestimated. In
addition to Vivaldi also Bach, Handel, Couperin and Telemann were influenced by Corelli’s pioneering work, which was still being played long after his death. Corelli is considered to be more or less the founder of modern violin technique and of the concerto grosso. These days he is hardly known by the general music loving public. In his time, however, he was in an ideal position to initiate a new style. As the excellent violinist, teacher and composer he was he could show the world the possibilities of this relatively new instrument. Corelli’s oeuvre consists of only 6 opus numbers which comprise 72 works altogether. These are all works for just string instruments, mainly sonatas for orchestra. With his opus 6 Corelli published 12 concerti grossi which were well-loved by his contemporaries. The playful alternating between a full orchestra and a small group of soloists was considered to be very attractive. Corelli did not invent the concerto grosso himself, but his set of 12 greatly promoted the genre. Today the eighth concerto grosso nicknamed Christmas Concerto is highly popular.
Musica Amphion plays on period instruments and is conducted from the harpsichord by its founder Pieter-Jan Belder. The recorded works are all officially attributed to the Corelli. In addition there are over one hundred pieces which authenticity remains doubtful. This 10 CD issue is of exceptional quality. The ensemble gives full-blooded performances which are matched by pleasantly warm but very clear acoustics.
Works on This Recording
Concerti grossi (12), Op. 6 by Arcangelo Corelli
Written: 1708-1712; Rome, Italy
Sinfonia in D minor by Arcangelo Corelli
Written: Rome, Italy
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