corelliThe great violinist, composer and teacher was born this day in 1653 in Fusignano, Italy.

I am not a string player, so can say very little about Corelli’s contribution to the art form except that he was an immensely popular virtuoso of his time and I understand the influence of his teachings and technique continues even today.

I can speak more to his musickal composition.  Corelli is sometimes call the “Father of the Concerto Grosso,” that is, of a concerto featuring two contrasting groups of instruments, one smaller (the “concertino“) and one larger (the “ripieno“).  Among others, his works influenced the great heavyweights of the late Baroque, Vivaldi, Handel and Bach.

If you do not already own a complete set of Corelli’s Opus 6 Concerti Grossi and a collection of his Trio Sonatas, may I humbly suggest that you scootch out and obtain them as soon as possible?  I have recordings by Trevor Pinnock and his pals of the English Concert, but I’m sure there are plenty of other performances available as well.  Just make sure and find a recent, period instrument recording of these concerti, because the older, big orchestra treatments tend to drag and don’t bring out the fully glory of the works.