Saturday, 18 July 2015


“The violin sings.” - Joshua Bell

Giuseppe Torelli (22 April 1658 – 8 February 1709) was an Italian violist, violinist, teacher, and composer. Torelli is most remembered for his contributions to the development of the instrumental concerto, especially concerti grossi and the solo concerto, for strings and continuo, as well as being the most prolific Baroque composer for trumpets.

Torelli was born in Verona. It is not known with whom he studied violin though it has been speculated that he was a pupil of Leonardo Brugnoli or Bartolomeo Laurenti, but it is certain that he studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti. On 27 June 1684, at the age of 26, he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica as suonatore di violino.

On 1687 Giuseppe Corsi da Celano, played Torelli’s music, from Op. 3, in Parma at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata. By 1698 he was maestro di concerto at the court of Georg Friedrich II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, where he conducted the orchestra for “Le pazzie d’ amore e dell’ interesse”, an idea drammatica composed by the maestro di cappella, and the castrato Francesco Antonio Pistocchi, before leaving for Vienna in December 1699.

He returned to Bologna sometime before February 1701, when he is listed as a violinist in the newly re-formed cappella musicale at San Petronio, directed by his former composition teacher Perti. He died in Bologna in 1709, where his manuscripts are conserved in the San Petronio archives. Giuseppe’s brother, Felice Torelli, was a Bolognese painter of modest reputation, who went on to be a founding member of the Accademia Clementina. The most notable amongst Giuseppe’s many pupils was Francesco Manfredini.

Here are Catherine Weiss (violin); Crispian Steele-Perkins (trumpet); David Blackadder (trumpet) and the Collegium Musicum conducted by Simon Standage playing some concerti by Torelli:
Concerto for two violins, Op. 8 No. 2 in A minor (0:00)
Concerto for violin, Op. 8 No. 8 in C minor (6:56)
Sinfonia for trumpet in D major; G 8 (13:44)
Concerto for two violins, Op. 8 No. 5 in G major (18:59)
Concerto for two violins, Op. 8 No. 6 in G minor in forma di Pastorale per il Santissimio Natale (26:37)
Concerto for two trumpets in D major (32:49)
Concerto for two violins, Op. 8 No. 4 in B flat major 39:01
Concerto grosso for violin, Op. 8 No. 11 in F major 48:21
Sinfonia for two trumpets in D major G 23; in D major (58:40)
Concerto for violin, Op. 8 No. 9 in E minor (1:05:37)

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