Arcangelo Corelli

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Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713), Italian Baroque composer, and violinist, was acknowledged in his day as the foremost violin virtuoso and writer for the instrument.

He was the first composer to be honoured for instrumental compositions alone, which would be the most published and reprinted until Joseph Haydn’s music in the last half of the 18th century. Innovations in technique in both playing and composition would affect European chamber music into the 19th century. He is a significant figure in the development of the trio sonata and the concerto grosso. It is believed that he was the favorite composer of Thomas Jefferson.

His output was not large but is important. It consists basically of a series of sonatas (Op.1 to 5) the 6 concerti grossi, (Op.6) (published posthumously) and a small number of other works.

His most popular works today are:

  • Concerto Grosso No. 8, known as the “Christmas Concerto” [1]
  • Sonata, Op.5, No.12; consisting of the theme and variations on the old, possibly Portuguese, tune known as "La Folia"("Follia") [2]


“The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music”

“Oxford Companion to Music”