Giuseppe Torelli: Notes and Commentary

Giuseppe Torelli’s 12 concerti of opus 8 “constitute one of the great achievements of the Baroque period. The principal traits that mark the mature concerto are here displayed: the fast-slow-fast sequence of movements, the ritornello form, and the virtuoso flights of the soloists.”—Claude Palisca, Baroque Music

Giuseppe Torelli was an Italian violist, violinist, teacher, and composer. He’s 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 a prolific Baroque composer for trumpets. He was born in Verona. He studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti, and in 1684, at the age of 26, he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica as suonatore di violino. By 1698 he was maestro di concerto at the court of Georg Friedrich II. 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. He lived from April 22, 1658, to February 8, 1709.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

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