Corelli A. Concerti Grossi, Op.6 (1714) / Concerto Grosso No. 1 in D major (Nicholas McGegan)

Arcangelo Corelli (1653~1713)

– Concerti Grossi, Op.6 –

Concerto Grosso No.1 in Re maggiore
(per due Violini e Violoncello, Archi e Basso Continuo)

I. Largo – Allegro – Largo – Allegro
II. Largo
III. Allegro
IV. Allegro

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Nicholas McGegan (conductor)

Arcangelo Corelli was at work preparing his Opus Six in 1711 and wrote a dedication for the collection in 1712. However, the twelve “Concert Grossi with a Concertino of two Violins and Violoncello obbligati and two other Violins, Viola and Bass for the Concerto grosso that can be doubled at will” did not appear until 1714, the year after the composer’s death, issued by the printer Etienne Roger of Amsterdam. As the title specifies, these works juxtapose the sound of a trio-sonata group (two violins, cello, and continuo) with a string ensemble, also provided with a continuo instrument – a Roman practice that goes back to Alessandro Stradella around 1675. (In the original performances of the concertos, the solo violins were played by Corelli and Matteo Fornari, the solo cello by Giovanni Lorenzo Lulier). The first part of the collection (Concerti I-VIII) consists of concertos corresponding to the church sonata type established in Corelli’s previously published Trio sonatas and Sonatas for solo violin: an alternating succession of slow and fast movements, plus an ad libitum Pastorale at the end of Concerto VIII, the celebrated concerto for Christmas Eve (which may have been composed as early as 1690). The “Second Part for Chamber” (Concerti IX-XII) corresponds to the chamber sonata type, “Preludes, Allemandes, Correnti, Gigues, Sarabands, Gavottes, and Minuets”.

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