6 - Historical awareness in practice 1 – three eighteenth-century case studies: Corelli, Bach and Haydn  pp. 106-138

By Robin Stowell

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter

This chapter, like Chapter 7, attempts to signal the application of issues discussed in the previous chapters to three works selected from the violin and viola repertory of the series' core period. Spatial limitations mean that it is not possible to deal in detail with all aspects; to do so could also lead, in many cases, to undesirable duplication. However, taken together, these case studies demonstrate the wide range of issues that need to be addressed by period performers; they also illustrate the limits of our knowledge in some areas.

Corelli: Sonata in A major, Op. 5 no. 9


As both composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli's (1653–1713) reputation and influence were immense in European musical circles, and his twelve Sonate a violino e violone o cimbalo Op. 5 have long been considered mainstays of the violinist's repertory. Published in Rome on 1 January 1700, they were probably written much earlier, since we know that Corelli obsessively re-worked his compositions and withheld their publication until he considered them incapable of further improvement. These sonatas appeared in about fifty editions by the end of the eighteenth century, published as far afield as in Amsterdam, Bologna, Florence, London, Madrid, Milan, Naples, Paris, Rome, Rouen and Venice; they served as the cornerstone on which ‘all good schools of the violin have been since founded’, the title page of the Bolognese edition (1711) declaring their pedagogical purpose, ‘all'insegna del violino’.


Three facsimiles of the first printed edition (Rome, 1700) are readily accessible.

No references available.