A Comparison of the Musical Styles of Vivaldi and Corelli

Essay by hercu10University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2006

download word file, 15 pages 5.0

Downloaded 54 times

Change, discovery, and innovation characterize the Baroque period. Classic composers, such as Bach and Handel burst onto the musical arena with great compositions. During a time with so many talented artists, some of the earlier masters were neglected. Two of these talented musicians were Antonio Vivaldi and Arcangelo Corelli. Both Italian artists were distinguished violinists as well as accomplished composers. "Corelli was the greatest violinist-composer of the Baroque and arguably its second most influential Italian composer after Monteverdi." Corelli's works consist entirely of string music apart from one sonata for trumpet, two violins, and continuo. The popularity of Corelli grew through the publications of forty-eight trio sonatas, twelve solo sonatas, and twelve concerti grossi. All of these works were published in six collections containing twelve works apiece. The first four being sets of trio sonatas. Although only a small output of Vivaldi's works were published during his lifetime, these were considered some of his most important and influential instrumental works.

Vivaldi's music contains over fifty operas, forty cantatas, over fifty sacred vocal works, sonatas, concertos, ninety solo and trio sonatas, and roughly five hundred concertos (two hundred of which are for solo violins). Vivaldi was best known for his trio sonatas and concerto works. While both composers were continuously developing their styles and reaching new heights of achievement, neither strayed too far from a basic format. The fact that both composers were so refined makes juxtaposing the two an impossible task. When comparing two of Corelli's trio sonatas from Opus Three to two of Vivaldi's violin concertos from La Stravanganza Opus Four, neither composer can be distinguished over the other. Both works masterfully exemplify the characteristics of the composers' styles.

A brief background of each composer is necessary into gain insight into their writing styles. "Arcangelo Corelli was...