Corelli, Bach, and Dinnerstein

Corelli, Bach, and Dinnerstein

There are times when I begin to write a Post for my blog on topic “A”, and I wind up being diverted elsewhere. Today I began with Arcangello Corelli who was an amazing Italian composer. He was born before Johann Sebastian Bach, and he influenced music for many years after he died. Ultimately I wound up listening to the amazing interpretation of the ‘Aria’ from J S Bach’s Goldberg Variations. You’ll see how I got there…

Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713) was an outstanding Italian composer; he was an expert in terms of the violin’s potential as a solo instrument and an immense influence on the composers who followed him, including J.S. Bach and Handel. As a virtuoso violinist, he had amazing level of skill; as a composer, he was enormously popular throughout Europe.

Although the Italian composer’s legacy became overshadowed in modern times, the 12 Concerti Grossi featured on this recording are totally worthy of study and enjoyment. These works earned Corelli the title of ‘father of the Concerto Grosso’.

(And I am coming soon to Simone Dinnerstein…)

Corelli: Concerti Grossi, Op. 6

Performed by Musica Amphion, conducted by Pieter-Jan Belder

Corelli established many of the recognizable features of the Concerto Grosso. The mixture of alternate slow and fast tempi demonstrates the imagination, innovation and versatility that his fellow composers so admired many years later. And the slow movements are always filled with really strong, expressive emotion.

There is much for listeners to discover and enjoy in this recording, which features outstanding playing by a leading period-instrument ensemble, “Musica Amphion”, led from the harpsichord by Pieter-Jan Belder.

Now: First here is Musica Amphion performing the J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto no. 5 in D – Allegro



And then I happened to locate this group’s leader, Pieter-Jan Belder, performing music by J.S. Bach, from the Goldberg Variations the opening ‘Aria’ (On the harpsichord)


Once I listened to the leader of this recording do the ‘Aria’ above, I wanted to hear how pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs this same ‘Aria’ on the modern piano: (Astounding performance, really!)


What is your own reaction? Enter your own comments in the space below, if you wish…

Tags: Arcangelo Corelli, Bach, Dinnerstein, Concerto Grosso

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