This arrangement of Corelli’s famous “Christmas Concerto” features soprano cornet, two solo cornets and solo euphonium. Arcangelo Corelli was one of the first masters of the baroque period, a skilled violinist much admired by fellow composers like Bach and Handel. He was born in Fusignano, near Ferrara in Northern Italy in 1653. He studied in nearby Bologna where he became an extremely competent violinist. By the 1670s he was working in Rome and building a reputation as a composer at the important and powerful Papal court. By the late 1600s he was widely famous all over Europe, regularly invited to important courts and palaces. Although he had a huge influence on the virtuoso writing of later composers, his writing for string instruments was designed to be playable by average, often amateur players.His set of Concerti Grossi known as Opus 6 was not published in his lifetime. We think they were written around 1690, and they were first published in Amsterdam in 1714, a year after Corelli's death. A 'Concerto Grosso' is a concerto for a group of soloists (the "concertino" group) accompanied by an ensemble (the "ripieno" group) and was an important form in the Baroque era. Handel's very successful examples were modelled on Corelli's example. Number 8 from the Opus 6 set was commissioned by the Venetian Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni and bears the inscriptionFatto per la notte di Natale('made for the night of Christmas'). It was used as part of the soundtrack for the 2003 film 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World".You can view a sample score of this arrangement here.
DescriptionLuigi Boccherini was born in Lucca, Italy, into a musical family. His father, a cellist and double-bass player, sent him to study in Rome at a young age. In 1757 they both went to Vienna, where the court employed them as musicians in the Burgtheater. In 1761 Boccherini went to Madrid, entering the employ of Prince Luis Antonio of Spain, younger brother of King Charles III. There he flourished under royal patronage, until one day when the King expressed his disapproval at a passage in a new trio, and ordered Boccherini to change it. The composer, no doubt irritated with this intrusion into his art, doubled the passage instead, which led to his immediate dismissal. Then he accompanied Don Luis to Arenas de San Pedro, a little town in the Gredos mountains, where Boccherini wrote many of his most famous works. Although neglected after his death and throughout the 19th and early 20th century (he was known mockingly as 'Haydn's Wife' for a time), Boccherini's music has been rediscovered in recent decades.La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid('Night Music of the Streets of Madrid') is a string quintet of seven short movements composed during Boccherini's exile in Arenas, no doubt to remind him and his prince of happier times. The music is reminiscent of "the gaiety and bustle of Spain's capital, recalling the sound of the city's church bells ringing for evening prayer, the popular dances that were the delight of its young people, and the blind beggars singing their typical songs". This arrangement excludes the first and last two movements, comprising the middle four:Il Tamburo di Soldati(The Soldier's Drum)Minuetto dei Ciechi(The Minuet of the Blind Beggars)Il Rosario(The Rosary)Passe Calle(The Passacaglia of the Street Singers)The music was featured in the Russell Crowe filmMaster and Commander: The Far Side of the World(2003) set during the Napoleonic Wars and featuring the adventures of the Royal Navy ship HMS Surprise and her captain Jack Aubrey as they pursue the French ship Acheron into the Pacific Ocean.To view a PDF preview of the score click here.Duration approximately 5'00".