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Engraving by W. Sherwin after H. Howard. Frontispiece to XII Sonatas or Solos for a Violin a Bass Violin or Harpsicord. Opera V. J.Walsh & J.Hare: London, [1710?].

Engraving by W. Sherwin after H. Howard. Frontispiece to XII Sonatas or Solos for a Violin a Bass Violin or Harpsicord. Opera V. J.Walsh & J.Hare: London, [1710?].

CORELLI, Arcangelo (b.Fusignano, 17 February 1653; d.Rome, 8 January 1713)


"We are now arrived at a memorable æra for the violin, tenor and violoncello; when the works and performance of the admirable ARCANGELO CORELLI rendered them respectable, and fixed their use and reputation, in all probability, as long as the present system of Music shall continue to delight the ears of mankind. Indeed, this most excellent master had the happiness of enjoying part of his fame during mortality; for scarce a contemporary musical writer, historian, or poet neglected to celebrate his genius and talents; and his productions have contributed longer to charm the lovers of Music by the mere powers of the bow, without the assistance of the human voice, than those of any composer that has yet existed. Haydn, indeed, with varied abilities, and a much more creative genius, when instruments of all kinds are better understood, has captivated the musical world in, perhaps, a still higher degree; but whether the duration of his favour will be equal to that of Corelli, who reigned supreme in all concerts, and excited undiminished rapture full half a century, must be left to the determination of time, and the encreased rage of depraved appetites for novelty.

....However, if we recollect that some of Corelli's works are more than a hundred years old, we shall wonder at their grace and elegance; which can only be accounted for on the principle of ease and simplicity. Purcell, who composed for ignorant and clumsy performers, was obliged to write down all the fashionable graces and embellishments of the times, on which account, his Music soon became obsolete and old fashioned; whereas the plainness and simplicity of Corelli have given longevity to his works, which can always be modernised by a judicious performer, with very few changes or embellishments. And, indeed, Corelli's productions continued longer in unfading favour in England than in his own country, or in any other part of Europe; ...."

BURNEY: A General History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period. (London, 1776-1789).

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