Arcangelo Corelli: New Orpheus of Our Times

The first full-length study for forty years, Arcangelo Corelli offers a much needed reassessment of the seminal composer's life and works. His current historical perspective is still largely conditioned by the opinions of Burney and Hawkins in the late 18th century who saw him as the consolidator of past trends rather than an instigator-a view fully endorsed in the two biographies of the present century. Neither of these writers was truly in a position to make such judgements if only because neither was aware of the contributions of the Roman School to which Corelli emphatically affirmed his allegiance. Extensive archival research over recent years now dispels much of the anecdote and hearsay accumulated over the centuries and makes possible a more balanced evaluation of Corelli's true status in the development of the prime instrumental genres, accounting for his phenomenal success both during his lifetime and in the creation of musical canon in the decades after his death.