A Comparison Of The Musical Styles Of Vivaldi And Corelli

3713 words - 15 pages

Change, discovery, and innovation characterize the Baroque period. Classic composers, such as Bach and Handel burst onto the musical arena with great compositions. During a time with so many talented artists, some of the earlier masters were neglected. Two of these talented musicians were Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli. Both Italian artists were distinguished violinists as well as accomplished composers. "Corelli was the greatest violinist-composer of the Baroque and arguably its second most influential Italian composer after Monteverdi." Corelli's works consist entirely of string music apart from one sonata for trumpet, two violins, and continuo. The popularity of Corelli grew through the publications of forty-eight trio sonatas, twelve solo sonatas, and twelve concerti grossi. All of these works were published in six collections containing twelve works apiece. The first four being sets of trio sonatas. Although only a small output of Vivaldi's works were published during his lifetime, these were considered some of his most important and influential instrumental works. Vivaldi's music contains over fifty operas, forty cantatas, over fifty sacred vocal works, sonatas, concertos, ninety solo and trio sonatas, and roughly five hundred concertos (two hundred of which are for solo violins). Vivaldi was best known for his trio sonatas and concerto works. While both composers were continuously developing their styles and reaching new heights of achievement, neither strayed too far from a basic format. The fact that both composers were so refined makes juxtaposing the two an impossible task. When comparing two of Corelli's trio sonatas from Opus Three to two of Vivaldi's violin concertos from La Stravanganza Opus Four, neither composer can be distinguished over the other. Both works masterfully exemplify the characteristics of the composers' styles.A brief background of each composer is necessary into gain insight into their writing styles. "Arcangelo Corelli was born in Fusignano, a small town midway between Bologna and Ravenna, on 17 February 1653." The first music lessons that Corelli took was from a priest in the town of Faenza. After continuing his studies at Lugo, Corelli traveled to Bolonga in 1666. In 1675, Corelli spent four years in Rome where he undertook subordinate positions among orchestral violinists. He soon became one of the foremost violinists in Rome. "On 9 July 1687, Cardinal Pamphili engaged Corelli as his music master at a monthly salary of ten Florentine piastres." Corelli received the honor of being admitted to the Arcadian Academy (along with distinguished musicians such as Pasquini and Scarlatti) on April 26, 1706, He was named Arcomelo Erimanteo. In 1708, Corelli retired from public view; he used his time composing. On January 8, 1708, Corelli died and was buried in S Maria della Rotonda.Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4, 1678. Although very little is known about his childhood and musical education, it has been...

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