Arcangelo Corelli. Sonatas for viola da gamba and continuo

Transcriptions inspired by the manuscript of the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris (MS. VS 6308), containing the 12 sonatas of the op. V in a transcribed version for viola da gamba and basso continu


Saturday 29 August at 7 pm at Kretinga Cultural Centre


Teodoro Baù, viola da gamba (Italy)

Andrea Buccarella, harpsichord (Italy)


When Arcangelo Corelli published the “12 Sonatas for Violin and Violone, or Cimbalo" op. V in 1700 in Rome, he marked an era and was regarded as a model of stylistic perfection. He became the head of a pure and Apollonian style, and ranks of composers, starting from his own pupils, began to follow his style. The editorial success of this collection is proved by many reprints and re-editions, which began to circulate throughout Europe, sometimes accompanied by adagio ornamentations (like the famous Dutch edition by Jeanne Roger printed in the 1720s). The diffusion was so wide that this music began to circulate also in non-original forms: adaptations as concerto grosso (Geminiani, London 1726) and transcriptions for recorder, traverso, cello and also for viola da gamba.  Two different collections containing all 12 sonatas were dedicated to viola da gamba: one is kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (Ms. VM7 6308) and the other has several identical copies, in which a handwritten version of the score is bound together with the printed edition of the famous treatise by Christopher Simpson on the art of improvisation ex-tempore "The Division Viol" (first published in 1659, but widespread in the England during the entire first half of the 18th century). The transcriptions presented in this concert are inspired by these two collections, as well as the documented and fairly common practice for the viola da gamba virtuosos, especially in France, to amaze their audience by adapting the Italian violin repertoire to their instrument.

In addition, a Chaconne by Georg Friedrich Händel for solo harpsichord, published in London in 1733 as part of the author's second collection of harpsichord suites, is also included in this program. It is probable that the composition of this piece may be dated to the composer's Italian period; the style of this Chaconne is distinctly Italian and Corellian, in particular for the sensitivity, with which Händel treats the ornamentation and variation of the basso ostinato.

 Andrea Buccarella




Arcangelo Corelli

Sonata in D Major, No. 11 (original in E major)

Preludio (Adagio), Allegro, Adagio, Vivace, Gavotta (Allegro)


Sonata in B-flat Major, No. 2

Grave, Allegro, Vivace, Adagio, Vivace


Sonata in A major, No. 9

Preludio, Giga, Adagio, Tempo di Gavotta


Georg Friedrich Händel

Chaconne in G Major, HVW 435 (solo harpsichord)


Arcangelo Corelli

Sonata in G Major, No. 6 (original in A major)

Grave, Allegro, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro


La Follia


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