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The Concerto in F Major Op. 6 No. 2 by Arcangelo Corelli, complete. Performed on original instruments by the early music ensemble Voices of Music. 4K UHD video from the Steffani Stabat Mater concert, March 2015, San Francisco.
300 years ago, Corelli’s concertos, Op. 6, were published in 1714 in Amsterdam: these works dramatically affected the style of the baroque concerto for the next generation of composers. The reception of this magnificent collection, one of the crown jewels of baroque instrumental music, was in no small part due to the music publishing boom which began around 1690, as well as Corelli’s signature set of violin sonatas, Opus 5, of which as Michael Talbot notes “at least 42 editions had appeared by 1800”. The wide availability of Corelli’s works created an international Corellian style. The concertos are written in an expanded trio sonata form, in which the two solo violins and continuo provide the core ensemble within the larger tutti framework.
Corelli composed his concerto in F Major without the usual three or four sections, but twelve sections (many of which are asymmetrical); two of these twelve are simply cadence markers consisting of one or two bars, the the remaining twelve movements are numbered in the video. The work begins with an upbeat flourish which then serves as anchor points for the following imitative sections. The wistful adagios provide an excellent foil to the persistent rhythms of the allegros.
The Musicians and their Instruments
Kati Kyme, baroque violin by Johann Gottlob Pfretzschner, Mittenwald, 1791
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin by Andrea Guarneri, Cremona, Italy, 1660
Adaiha MacAdam-Somer, baroque cello, Anonymous, 18th century
Lisa Grodin,baroque violin by Paulo Antonio Testore, Larga di Milano, Italy, 1736
Maxine Nemerovski, baroque violin by Timothy Johnson, Bloomington, Indiana, 1999 (after Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, Italy, 17th century)
David Daniel Bowes, baroque viola by Richard Duke, London, England, ca. 1780
Farley Pearce, violone by George Stoppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012, after Tieffenbrucker, c1610
Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ by Winold van der Putten, Finsterwolde, Netherlands, 2004, after early 18th-century northern German instruments