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CONCERTO GROSSO No. 11 in B-flat Major ARCANGELO CORELLI (1653-1713)
Although Corelli was not the inventor of the Concerto Grosso principle, it was he who proved the potentialities of the form, popularised it, and wrote the first great music for it. Through his efforts, it achieved the same pre-eminent place in the baroque period of musical history that the symphony did in the classical period. Without Corelli�s successful models, it would have been impossible for Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach to have given us their Concerto Grosso masterpieces.
The Concerto Grosso form is built on the principle of contrasting two differently sized instrumental groups. In Corelli�s, the smaller group consists of two violins and a cello, and the larger of a string orchestra. Dynamic markings in all the music of this period were based on the terrace principle; crescendo and diminuendi are unknown, contrasts between forte and piano and between the large and small string groups constituting the dynamic variety of the scores.
Of all his compositions it was upon his Opus 6 that Corelli laboured most diligently and devotedly. Even though he wouldn�t allow them to be published during his lifetime, they still became some of the most famous music of the time. The date of composition is not certain, for Corelli spent many years of his life writing and rewriting this music, beginning while still in his twenties.
Without access to the original manuscripts, which have been edited by Pepusch, the violinist Joseph Joachim and musicologist Friedrich Chrysander among others, tempi and bowing articulation�s cannot therefore, be regarded as reliable and faithful to the composer�s meanings and intentions; dynamics are editorial suggestions only and Ensembles� should insert their preferences regarding interpretation during rehearsals.