Italian Virtuosi Part II: The Influence of Corelli

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Portrait of Corelli by Hugh Howard, 1697. Click the image above to watch the concert replay.


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This concert picks up where we left off in April, with Italian Virtuosi, Part I.

In Rome in 1700, violin superstar Arcangelo Corelli published his op. 5 collection of violin sonatas, that would change the genre forever. His sonatas combined technical mastery of the violin with captivating melodies, fugues and dances. Within a few years, his sonatas had disseminated throughout Europe, and completely redefined the genre of the sonata. In addition, his sonatas pushed the expectations of all violinists.

Corelli’s generation of violinists quickly followed suit, by studying and playing his sonatas, and several of them started writing sonatas in the same model. Violinists such as Giuseppe Tartini and Francisco Maria Veracini spent a couple of years practicing and improving their technique to match and (arguably) surpass Corelli’s virtuosity. Several others, such as Giovanni Battista Somis, took the opportunity to study directly with Corelli.

This program continues to explore the works of Corelli and his contemporaries in Italy, as in a single generation they developed the techniques of the virtuoso era of the early 18th century.

Program:

Arcangelo Corelli: Violin Sonata in D Major, op. 5 no. 1
Francisco Maria Veracini: Violin Sonata in A Minor, op. 1 no. 2
Giovanni Battista Somis: Violin Sonata in D Major, op. 1 no. 12
Giuseppe Tartini: Violin Sonata in D Major, op. 2 no. 1

Here’s the program! Available as a full booklet or 1-page PDF: