Arcangelo CORELLI
17 February 1653 - 8 January 1713 (age 59)

Arcangelo Corelli, Italian late baroque composer.
He has been called:
- "The Father of the Concerto Grosso"

- "Founder of Modern Violin Technique"
- "The World's Greatest Violinist"



Concerto Grosso



portrait of Corelli


Born: 17 February 1653, Fusignano, nr Bologna, Italy
Zodiac: Aquarius
Parents: prosperous landowners
Siblings: fifth child
Partners: Never married
Children: None
Died: Rome. 8 January 1713
Grave: Buried in the Pantheon, Rome, next to Raphael see findagrave

Corelli stamp


Period: Late Baroque
Output: small
Influenced by: Lully
Influenced: Albinoni, Handel, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, Telemann, Vivaldi
- 48 trio sonatas
- 12 Violin sonatas
- 12 concerti grossi

Performed as the leading violinist of his day.
Directed and conducted concerts on a regular basis.
He was also an outstanding teacher. Antonio Vivaldi was his star student.

What is a Concerto Grosso?

Corelli didn't invent the concerto grosso (plural = concerti grossi) but he did develop it, popularise it, teach it and write the first great works in that genre.
It consists of two contrasting groups of players: a small group of lead instrumentalists or soloists - often two violins and a cello with maybe harpsichord and lute- and a full orchestra (like a modern backing group).
In the video below you can see how this works.


- age 13 - 18 studied at Bologna. The Venetian Leonardo Brugnol was one of his teachers.
- age 18 he went to Rome where he studied composition under Matteo Simonelli
- He soon established himself as one of Rome's leading musicians and won the patronage of Queen Christina of Sweden who had moved to Rome following her abdication.
- After she died he entered the service of Cardinal Pamphili who paid him well and gave him rooms at his palace.
- When Pamphili moved from Rome the young Cardinal Ottoboni, the Pope's nephew, befriended him, employed him paying him even more. This was a position which he held for the rest of his life.
- Corelli died an extremely wealthy man. He had accumulated a large and valuable art collection.
- He was very well known and respected throughout Europe for his music and had a great influence the future of music.
"La Follia"
Alessandra Talamo, Accademia degli Astrusi

Christmas Concerto, Adagio Op. 6 No. 8
by the San Francisco Early Music Ensemble Voices of Music

Sonata in F Major Op.5 No.4
Hanneke van Proosdij, recorder

Concerto Grosso, Opus 6 No. 8

Links - where to go for more information:

Answers.com collected reference sites including Wikipedia

BaroqueMusic.com a concise biography

HOASM.org another interesting profile

Corelli on LastFM a bio and streaming music

New World Encyclopedia

Italian Composers more profiles here at 52composers

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