Giuseppe Torelli

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Giuseppe Torelli

Giuseppe Torelli (born April 22, 1658 in Verona , † February 8, 1709 in Bologna ) was an Italian violinist and composer of the Baroque .


Giuseppe Torelli was one of the most important Italian composers and violinists of the late 17th century. He came from a respected family of artists and probably received his education around the cathedral orchestra of San Petronio in Bologna. He studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti and, after a rigorous examination, became a member of the Bolognese Accademia Filarmonica at the age of 26 . From 1686 he was a violist in the Bologna Orchestra. In 1698 he became conductor of the court orchestra of the Margrave of Ansbach . In 1699 and 1700 he worked in Vienna and from 1701 until the end of his life back in Bologna.

Create and work

His work had a great influence on the development of the Concerto grosso . He also introduced the three-movement form of the concerto (fast, slow, fast), which was later generally adopted. His oeuvre comprises seven opus series with a total of 84 well-known works.

Around 1700 he introduced a violin soloist to make music with the orchestra, a groundbreaking innovation at the time compared to the Concerto grosso, where a soloist group was used. The model was the opera aria that had appeared a hundred years earlier. Torelli wrote mainly sonatas , concerti grossi and solo concerts .


Works with opus number

  • Op. 1: 10 Sonata à trè Stromenti con il Basso continuo (Bologna, 1686)
  • Op. 2: 12 Concerti da camera a due violini e basso (Bologna, 1686)
  • Op. 3: 12 Symphony a due, tre e quattro strumenti (Bologna, 1687)
  • Op. 4: 12 Sonata as Concertino per Camera a Violino , e Violoncello (Bologna, 1688)
  • Op. 5: 6 Symphony à tre e [6] Concerti à quattro (Bologna, 1692)
  • Op. 6: 12 Concerti musicali a quattro (Augsburg, 1698; Amsterdam, 1698)
  • Op. 7: Capricci musicali per violino e viola
  • Op. 8: 12 Concerti grossi con una Pastorale per il Santissimo Natale (No. 1–6 for 2 violins, No. 7–12 for 1 violin) (Bologna, 1709)

Works without opus number

  • Symphony , concerti and sonata for 1 to 4 trumpets and other instruments (the trumpet was considered the instrument of princely power)
  • Symphony and sonata for several instruments
  • Concerti for violin
  • Sonata for violin and basso continuo
  • 2 Preludes in Select Preludes or Volentarys for the Violin by the most eminent Masters in Europe (London, 1705)
  • Works in Sonates ou Concerts à 4, 5 & 6 Parties composées par Bernardi , Torelli & autres fameux Auteurs (Amsterdam)


  • Willi Apel : Italian Violin Music in the 17th Century , Wiesbaden 1983
  • Eugene J. Enrico: Giuseppe Torelli's Music for Instrumental Ensembles with Trumpet , Ann Arbor 1971
  • Franz Giegling: Giuseppe Torelli. A contribution to the history of the development of the Italian concert , Kassel 1949
  • Richard E. Norton: The Chamber Music of Giuseppe Torelli , Ann Arbor 1969
  • Francesco Passadore: Catalogo tematico delle composizioni di Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709) , Padua 2007, ISBN 978-88-901412-6-3

Web links