Arcangelo Corelli (17.02.1653 – 08.01.1713) was an Italian violinist and one of the seminal composers of the Baroque era. As a violinist he was the first master of the modern violin and managed to produce a beauty of tone from the instrument that was previously unknown. His major achievement as a composer was his set of 12 Concerti Grossi, which established the concerto grosso form and thus provided a model to be followed by Vivaldi, Handel and J S Bach.
The concerto grosso¹ is a form of baroque music in which the musical material is passed between a small group of soloists, known as the concertino, and the full orchestra. This is in contrast to the solo concerto which features a single solo instrument with the melody line, accompanied by the orchestra. Corelli’s Concerti grossi, Op. 6, is a collection of twelve concertos published in 1714. These are some of the finest examples of the baroque-style concerti grossi. They were written for a concertino group of a first violin, a second violin and a cello with a ripieno group of first violins, second violins, violas, cellos and continuo.
Our recommended recording is performed by the Brandenburg Consort, led by Roy Goodman. It is available at bargain price on the Hyperion label.
Hyperion recordings are not available on any streaming platform but you can listen to extracts on the Hyperion website.
If you enjoy this music then try listening to Handel’s Concerti grossi Op. 3 Nos. 1-6, HWV312-317 or his Concerti grossi Op. 6 Nos. 1-12 HWV319-330.
¹ Concerto grosso is Italian for big concert(o)