Arcangelo Corelli

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Corelli, Arcangelo

(ärkän`jālō kōrĕl`lē), 1653–1713, Italian composer and violinist. Famed for his virtuosity and his elegant style of composition, he spent most of his life in Rome, where he was court violinist to Cardinal Ottoboni. His violin technique was perpetuated by his many students and in his sonatas for violin with harpsichord, among which is the well-known set of variations on the air La Follia. He also helped to establish the typical form of the concerto grosso (see concertoconcerto
, musical composition usually for an orchestra and a soloist or a group of soloists. In the 16th cent. concertare and concertato implied an ensemble, either vocal or instrumental.
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See M. Pincherle, Corelli: His Life, His Work (tr., 1956).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Corelli, Arcangelo


Born Feb. 17, 1653, in Fusignano; died Jan. 8, 1713, in Rome. Italian violinist, composer, conductor, and teacher. Founder of the Italian school of violin.

Corelli wrote ensemble and solo works for violin, trio sonatas (four collections, published 1681–94), sonatas for violin and bass (published 1700), and concert grossi (published 1714). His sonatas were models for the concert violin style, and his concerti grossi played an important role in the formation of classical orchestral music. In his works, Corelli often drew upon folk dances and songs. His playing was characterized by contemporaries as brilliant and expressive. Corelli’s pupils included the Italian violinists P. Locatelli and G. Somis.


Kuznetsov, K., and I. lampoPskii. A. Korelli. Moscow, 1953.
Rinaldi, M. A. Corelli. Milan, 1953.
Pincherle, M. Corelli et son temps. Paris, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.