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Corelli, Arcangelolocked

  • Michael Talbot

Extract

(b Fusignano, 17 Feb 1653; d Rome, 8 Jan 1713). Italian composer and violinist. Despite the modest size of his output, comprising six collections of instrumental music and a handful of other authentic works, and its virtual restriction to three genres – solo sonata, trio sonata and concerto – Corelli exercised an unparalleled influence during his lifetime and for a long time afterwards. This influence, which affected form, style and instrumental technique in equal measure, was most closely felt in Italy, and in particular in Rome, where he settled in early manhood, but soon spread beyond local and national confines to become a European phenomenon. As a violinist, teacher of the violin and director of instrumental ensembles Corelli imposed standards of discipline that were unusually strict for their period and helped to lay the groundwork for further progress along the same lines during the 18th century. To Corelli belong equally the distinctions of being the first composer to derive his fame exclusively from instrumental composition, the first to owe his reputation in large part to the activity of music publishers, and the first to produce ‘classic’ instrumental works which were admired and studied long after their idiom became outmoded....

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