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Giuseppe Torelli

Biography

Born: April 22, 1658; Verona, Italy   Died: February 8, 1709; Bologna, Italy  
Giuseppe Torelli was a Baroque composer whose music served as an essential link in the evolution of the concerto grosso and solo concerto forms. His works were published in seven collections of concertos, sinfonias, and sonatas, all appearing chronologically. Thus, one can trace his progress from the rather conventional style of the early chamber-oriented concertos and sonatas to the more expansive and stronger efforts of the middle sets. The Read more last two of his collections, 12 Concerti musicali and 12 Concerti grossi con una pastorale are the flowering of his efforts in the these genres. The Concerti musicali are more deftly written than his previous efforts, with ritornellos taking a more prominent role, while the Concerti grossi show his full grasp of structure and a crucial balancing of the roles of the soloist and the orchestral players.

Torelli was born in Verona, Italy, on April 22, 1658. Not much is known about his early years, though it has been suggested that Giuliano Massaroti was one of Torelli's earliest teachers, owing to his close proximity in Verona. Torelli departed Verona in the early 1680s and shortly afterward may have taken the post as maestro di cappella at the Imola Cathedral in the Bologna province. An accomplished string player, he also began studying composition with G.A. Perti around this time. Torelli's first published works were the ten Sonate a 3, for violin and basso continuo, and 12 Concerto da camera for two violins and basso continuo. Both appeared in 1686, and were probably written shortly after his arrival in Bologna.

In 1687, Torelli published his third collection of works, this one a set of 12 Sinfonie, for two to four instruments. His next (1688) was the 12 Concertino per camera, for violin and cello. Around 1690 Torelli began writing his first trumpet works, the Suonata con stromenti e tromba. The composer's growing interest in the trumpet, unusual for a string player, likely owed something to the virtuoso trumpeter Giovanni Pellegrino Brandi, who occasionally performed with the San Petronio orchestra, of which Torelli was a member.

In 1692 Torelli published another collection of works, the Sinfonie a 3 e concerti a 4. Four years later he departed Bologna, eventually reaching Ansbach, Germany, where he engaged in some joint musical ventures with his friend, Pistocchi, the famous castrato and composer. There are accounts that during this time, Torelli toured Germany with Pistocchi.

Torelli was appointed maestro di concerto in Ansbach, probably in 1697. It appears that during his tenure there, he wrote very little music, apparently finding the duties demanding. The composer was known to suffer from hypochondria in his later years, and the condition may well have been worsening for him while away from home.

Torelli spent some time in Vienna but was back in Bologna in 1701, quickly landing a position with the newly formed San Petronio cappella musicale. Torelli and Pistocchi seem to have appeared in a number of concerts together in the early 1700s, most likely earning substantial fees. Relatively little is known about Torelli in his final years, except that he composed little music. His only significant effort was the 12 Concerti grossi con una pastorale, Op. 8, which features one of his more popular pieces, the so-called Christmas Eve Concerto (No. 6). Torelli died on February 8, 1709. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2089 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Fulgenso Perotti,  Johann Adolf Hasse,  Giuseppe Torelli
    Performer:  Ewa Golinska,  Ruby Hughes,  Komale Akakpo
    Conductor:  Martin Gester
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arte Dei Suonatori
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  • 2.
    L'Oiseau-Lyre - The Baroque Era
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002072902 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Thomas Augustine Arne,  William Boyce,  John Blow,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Catherine Bott,  Libby Crabtree,  Michael George,  Emma Kirkby  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood,  Philip Pickett,  Joshua Rifkin,  Christophe Rousset  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music,  Westminster Abbey School Choristers Choir,  New London Consort Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Argo Years / Neville Marriner, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields [28-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002081902 Release Date: 06/03/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli  ... 
    Performer:  Gwynne Howell,  Philip Langridge,  Anna Reynolds,  Elly Ameling  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble
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  • 4.
    Et In Arcadia Ego
    Label: Fra Bernardo   Catalog: 1312333 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  George Frideric Handel,  Alessandro Marcello,  Benedetto Marcello  ... 
    Performer:  Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli
    Conductor:  Christoph Hammer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Stella Matutina
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  • 5.
    Das Alte Werk - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46438 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Orlando Gibbons  ... 
    Performer:  Herbert Tachezi,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Frans Brüggen,  Jeannette Van Wingerden  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Werner Ehrhardt,  Giovanni Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus,  Leonhardt Consort,  Studio for Early Music  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 6.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 7.
    The Sound of Alison Balsom
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 19162 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Benedetto Marcello  ... 
    Performer:  Alison Balsom,  Iestyn Davies,  Colm Carey,  Alastair Ross
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Edward Gardner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Scottish Ensemble,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    Fiori Musicali
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Sammartini,  Heinrich Ignaz Biber,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Lorena Espina,  Alexandra Uhlig,  Robert Buschek,  Heinrich Bruckner  ... 
    Conductor:  Christian Birnbaum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baroque Ensemble of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $48.99
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  • 9.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 10.
    Richard Tucker - The Song And Cantorial Album Collection [14-CD Set]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 544474 Release Date: 08/06/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ernesto De Curtis,  Emanuele Nutile,  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Rodolfo Falvo  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tucker,  John Wustman,  John Huston,  Ben Irving  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfredo Antonini,  Nicolas Flagello,  Sholom Secunda,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Concert Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Chamber Ensemble  ... 
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  • 11.
    The First Queen Of Trumpet And Her Best Recordings
    Label: Acanta/Pilz   Catalog: 233701 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  George Frideric Handel,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel  ... 
    Performer:  Carole Dawn Reinhart,  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Helmut Winschermann,  Marinus Voorberg,  Marc Andreae
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Bach Soloists
    CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    Baroque Christmas
    Label: Edition Lilac   Catalog: 291211 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Dietrich Buxtehude,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Christoph Bernhard  ... 
    Performer:  Kathryn Mueller,  Wanda Yang Temko
    Conductor:  Predrag Gosta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Trinity Baroque
    CD: $17.99
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  • 13.
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 1832 Release Date: 03/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Joachim Schäfer,  Judit Izsak,  Arndt Netzel,  Gesine Forberger  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Popovic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trompetenensemble Joachim Schäfer,  Camerata Instrumentale Berlin
    CD: $9.99
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  • 14.
    The Concerto Koln Christmas Album
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300276 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Johann Wenzel Stamitz,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Cologne
    CD: $18.99
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  • 15.
    24 Italian Songs And Arias
    Label: Chai-lun Yueh Singing Studio   Catalog: 5637991945 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bononcini,  Giulio Caccini,  Antonio Caldara,  Alphons Diepenbrock  ... 
    Performer:  Qi Liu,  Chai-lun Yueh
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    Albinoni: Adagio; Pachelbel: Canon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001703302 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Heinz Holliger,  Eric Wyrick,  Eric Bartlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Rafael Kubelik,  Alexander Van Wijnkoop,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
    CD: $8.99
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  • 17.
    Great Baroque Masterpieces
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501061 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann  ... 
    Performer:  Nadja Schubert,  Daniel Rothert,  Corinne Chapelle,  Karl Kaiser  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Müller-Brühl,  Kevin Mallon,  Bradley Creswick,  Jozef Kopelman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra,  Aradia Ensemble,  Northern Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 18.
    Voices Of Trumpets And Organ
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 661 Release Date: 04/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  Alan Hovhaness,  Hans Ludwig Schilling,  Daniel Pinkham  ... 
    Performer:  Byron Pearson,  Arthur Vidrich,  Donald R. Tison
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  • 19.
    Trumpet Concertos / Helmut Hunger, Andre Bernard
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 1929532 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Hunger,  George Malcolm,  André Bernard,  Heinz Holliger
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  George Malcolm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Golden Trumpet - Best-loved Trumpet Concertos / Maurice Andre, Neville Marriner
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317422 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Bernard Soustrot,  Iona Brown,  Daniel Arrington  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-Pierre Wallez
    CD: $7.99
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  • 21.
    Label: Glossa   Catalog: 921206 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Tarquinio Merula,  Nicola Matteis,  Agostino Guerrieri,  Carlo Mannelli  ... 
    Performer:  Mara Galassi,  Enrico Gatti,  Guido Morini,  Stefano Pilati  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aurora Ensemble
    CD: $34.99
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  • 22.
    Christmas Concertos - Weihnachtskonzerte / Erxleben, New Berlin Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5108 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Erxleben
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Berlin Chamber Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Musique Baroque A La Cour Royale
    Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt   Catalog: 76 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Torelli,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alessandro Stradella,  Bernhard Krol
    Performer:  Sebastian Hamann,  Thomas Strauss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wolfgang Bauer Consort
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Essential Brass
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94896 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  George Frideric Handel,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  John Wilbraham,  Maurice André,  Angela East,  Crispian Steele-Perkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Richard Hickox,  Alison Balsom  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Trumpet Concertos - M. Haydn, Molter, L. Mozart, Telemann, Torelli
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94094 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Johann Melchior Molter,  Giuseppe Torelli,  Michael Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Otto Sauter,  Franz Wagnermeyer,  Kenji Tamiya,  Thomas Hammes
    Conductor:  Nicol Matt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kurpfälzisches Chamber Orchestra,  Mannheim Chamber Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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