VIOLINING SONATES OF ARCANGELLO CORELLA IN THE MIRROR OF HIS PERSONALITY
Arcangelo Corelli was fortunate enough to live in an era when instrumental music and instrumental performing arts began to occupy a place that previously belonged completely to the opera. Composers not only began to give preference to instrumental genres, but also to introduce a personal beginning into their compositions. Academician B.V. Asafiev emphasized that the development of European instrumentalism would be inconceivable without its intentions to “humanize”, the expression of the “emotionally ideological world of European humanity” ..Arcangelo Corelli was born in the middle of the 17th century (1653). It was a blessed Baroque era. The era in which both the creators and the public learned to enjoy the beautiful in all its manifestations. Born in Bologna and mastering the violin art under the guidance of the leading figure of the Bologna school, Giovanni Benvenuti, a promising young man who was elected a member of the Bologna Academy of Philharmonics in 17 years, moved to Rome.
Here the young musician absorbs new musical knowledge, studying counterpoint with the papal organist and composer Matteo Simonelli.
He goes through all career stages in Rome. Starting as a violinist in the Tor di Nona theater, then playing at the court of the Swedish queen in exile Cristina, in the chapel of the church of St. Louis of France, she becomes the bandmaster at the opera house of Kapranik, later stands at the head of the chapel of Cardinal B. Panfili, and then leads the chapel of the cardinal P. Ottoboni and organizes concerts in his palace. This allows Corelli to communicate with the most prominent representatives of the secular circle – art connoisseurs, aesthetes and the most famous musicians of his time. The house of the patron Ottoboni was visited by young Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti and his son Domenico, many other Italian and foreign musicians, artists, poets, scientists. Corelli lives a busy life – writes music, performs concerts, selflessly educates students (among his pupils Pietro Lokatelli, Francesco Geminiani, J. B. Somis), collects works of art. His collection includes paintings, including paintings by Italian masters, landscapes of Poussin and one painting by Brueghel.
Corelli began to publish his works in 1681. Until 1694, four collections of his trio sonatas came out. 12 of his concerts were published posthumously, in 1714. Until recently, it was believed that Corelli created six opuses of twelve works in each of them. But, thanks to the latest findings in archives and libraries, two more sonatas for violin and bass, two sonatas for 4 voices, a sonata for solo violin with accompaniment of the second violin and some music, and some more compositions that have not yet been fully attributed by researchers, became known. Several works that remained in the manuscript are also open: Introduction and Symphony to the oratorio Lully “St. Beatrice d’Este ”, Concert for two violins, violetta and bass, Sonata for trumpet, two violins and bass, Fugue for four voices with“ added solo ”.
All these works are distinguished by craftsmanship – architectonic balance, stylistic unity, and thoroughness of decoration.
The very air of a new time, a change in social climate, form a musician in Corelli with his artistic concept. And this his own style is manifested in both performing and composing activities. His play produced an indelible effect not so much in timbre as in melodious, broad breathing close to the sound of a human voice. He managed to convey this melodiousness to many of his students.
Of course, over the years, both the style of performance and the artistic techniques of writing have changed. In his mature years, he almost abandoned selfless performance when, according to one of his contemporary listeners, “he was so devoted to what he did that he became unlike himself.”
But his game has become graceful, elegant, restrained and noble. More and more often he reminds his students of “reason” – the basis and support of art classes. But, of course, as an emotional person who perceives life in all its colors, Corelli absorbed all the charm and variety of folk music, which was the natural musical accompaniment of everyday life in all Italian provinces. He skillfully used these vibrant rhythms, dance, and laconic intonation in his compositions. And this pronounced “nationality” in combination with “scholarship” – mastery, knowledge of counterpoint, form – attracted both his contemporaries and us – listeners and performers of the 21st century.