Sonata in C Major for Two Trumpets and Organ

By Arcangelo Corelli (Arr. Barbara Harbach)
Catalogue Number: H407

The well-known Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) spent his early years in Germany and France as a virtuoso violinist before returning to his native country in 1685. Corelli’s influence is based on three instrumental genres: the sonata, trio sonata, and concerto. His musical style affected the instrumental techniques, the forms, and the styles of the period. The solo sonatas and concertos of Bach and Handel evolved from Corelli’s musical contributions.

As teacher, violinist, and director of instrumental ensembles, Corelli imposed standards of discipline that were unusual for the times .

Sonata for Two Trumpets in C Major is the sixth sonata from Corelli’s Opus 4, Twelve Sonatas da camera a tre. Originally written for two violins and continuo in E Major, this sonata was arranged for two trumpets and transposed to the key of C Major.

Corelli wrote this sonata while he worked as a musician at the palace of Cardinal Ottoboni in Rome. At his death Corelli had amassed a fortune and a fine art collection.

The Preludio is an intriguing alternation between Adagio and Allegro. The short, first Adagio creates tension through appoggiaturas. Sprightly imitation between the two trumpets characterizes the following Allegro. The next Adagio has a throbbing figure in the accompaniment with long notes in the trumpet parts. The next Allegro harks back to the previous Allegro, while the final Adagio recalls the throbbing accompaniment figure and the dissonances of the second Adagio.

The Allemande, an Allegro, is a two-part form with imitation and dotted figures. The second part cleverly inverts the theme of the first section. The final movement, Giga, is also a two-part form, Allegro, with imitation and a wider range.

This exciting sonata is a welcome addition to the performing and teaching repertoire of the Baroque period for two trumpets and keyboard. It is well constructed, interesting, and rewarding for both the performer and the listener.

Editor’s Note: This performing edition is an Urtext in which few ornaments, phrasing, articulation, or dynamics have been added to the score that were not originally provided by the composer. Each performer may determine these details following the composer ‘s indications. However, the editor has unified ornaments, phrasing, articulation, and dynamics within passages or in restatements except where the composer clearly wanted variety with each recurrence. Likewise, obvious harmonic uniformity was provided by the editor (for example, where chromatic alterations were not carried out consistently in the original edition within passages or chords). Unnecessary accidentals were omitted, and the notation was altered occasionally to conform to modern standards.


Brass & Organ