Arcangelo Corelli

Italian composer and violinist (Fusignano, 1653 - Rome, 1713)

An Italian composer most active in the repertoires of concerto and sonata, Arcangelo Corelli is also considered one of the most influential violinist of the baroque era.

Member of an old family from Fusignano, Arcangelo Corelli studied violin in Bologna and entered the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica in 1670. He settled in Rome in 1675, where he quickly became known for his virtuoso violinist qualities. Placed under the benefaction of influential patrons such as Queen Christina of Sweden or Cardinals Pamphili and Ottoboni, he enjoyed a comfortable life to compose and perfect his musical writing.

The production of Arcangelo Corelli was scarce, but he is known as the composer who brought the sonata trio to excellence, in a four-series collection, published between 1681 and 1694. The structural balance was such that these works had an impact on all Baroque Europe, may it be in France, the Netherlands, England and Germany. Corelli’s other favourite genre was the concerto grosso, which he once again elevated to perfection. Many composers of the first half of the 18th century, such as Tomaso Albinoni, Benedetto Marcello, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann took this genre as a model for composition in the concert style.

Four landmark dates in the life of Arcangelo Corelli:

1666: Arrival in Bologna and first violin lessons
1679: Corelli directed a work from Bernardo Pasquini "Dove è amore è pieta" in Rome
1681: The first trios, dedicated to Christine of Sweden are published
1706: Received at the Arcadian Academy alongside Alessandro Scarlatti

Four key works by Acangelo Corelli:

1681: 12 sonatas da chiesa (church) in trio, op. 1
1685: 12 sonatas da camera (chamber) in trio, op. 2
1700: 12 sonatas for solo violin and continuo, op. 5
1714: 12 concerti grossi, op. 6, posthumous publication

Biography from Radio France’s Musical Documentation