Concerto Grosso in F op 6/6
    Adagio-Allegro / Largo / Vivace / Allegro

Concerto Grosso in a minor op 3/8
    Allegro / Larghetto / Allegro
Concerto for Mandolin and Strings in D, RV425
    Allegro / Largo / Allegro

Concerto Grosso 12 in d minor La Follia

Concerto in A Major for Guitar, Violin & Continuo
     Allegro / Adagio / Allegro

Concerto Grosso in b minor op 6/12
     Largo / Allegro / Aria / Largo / Allegro

Concerto a 4 Madrigalesco in d, RV129
    Adagio-Allegro / Adagio / Allegro molto moderato

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Arcangelo Corelli exercised a wide influence on his contemporaries and on the succeeding generation of composers including Vivaldi, Geminiani and Handel represented on this disc. He was one of the "Founding Fathers" of baroque music, having been called the "Founder of Modern Violin Technique", the "World's First Great Violinist", and the "Father of the Concerto Grosso".

A brilliant violinist, he organized the basic elements of violin technique, and made concert tours throughout Europe. Equally famous as a composer, his music was likewise known and performed in all the major European musical centers. His influence both on his students and on the baroque music repertoire is illustrated by the fact that one of his students, Geminiani, re-arranged his Opus 5 Sonatas as Concerti Grossi – one of which appears on this CD. The Opus 6 Concertos, of which we offer number 6, seem to have been among the composer's favorite compositions for they were frequently re-worked over a long period, and achieved a wide acclaim during his lifetime.

The three works of Vivaldi here included have been selected to show both the variety, and the influence of Vivaldi's compositions. First, we have a Concerto from the Opus 3, of which no less than six of the twelve were to be adapted by Bach – No.8 which can be heard on this disc for example, was destined to become a Concerto for Solo Organ, BWV 593. This is followed by a Concerto for Mandolin, transporting us to the waterways of Venice with its very typical Venetian sound. We end with a very unusual, very moving work. Titled Madrigalesco this concerto is in madrigal style, quiet, reflective, yet still melodious. A rare treasure.

Geminiani's sensitive and expert "adaptation" of his teacher Corelli's Opus 5 Sonatas may have been motivated by respect, by a genuine appreciation of the music's intrinsic worth… or an attempt to cash in on the enormous popularity of Corelli's works in London at that time. We include on this disc the last, No.12, of the set, which explores a form popular in the baroque idiom: variations on a popular tune – "La Follia" being the choice of several baroque composers when working in this medium.

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Top image Castello di Sammezzano in Tuscany, Italy

Baroque Music Library