18-th century variations for Corelli's sonatas, op. 5.
Free ornamentation replaces or paraphrases a given text, but variation sets are separate events to be played after that text. As we know, each variation is based on elements of a `theme', bringing to bear its own individual melodic and/or rhythmic characteristics; a variation is distinct from a freely embellished playing precisely because of its greater autonomy and distinct structure. Improvised doubles, divisions and diminutions, like the examples given in Christopher Simpson's 1659 Division-Viol,(4) are the precursors of the later, more rhythmically complex melodic variations.
Notated sets of variations by violinist-composers preceding Corelli are easy to find, for instance in the works of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) and Nicola Matteis (fl. 1670-c.1707), a Neapolitan who made his career in England, and who, Roger North tells us, was the first to acquaint the English with the current virtuoso Italian violin style.(5) In Biber's music, variations are based on dances like the menuet and gavotte, or on arias, which are simply dances with these designations omitted.(6) Matteis's Ayrs for the Violin, published in four instalments between 1676 and 1685, combine Italian and English styles, and include many dances with variations, a form common to both; the variations are termed divisione, sminuita, variazione and passegiata. Several compositions have such descriptions as menuetto con sua divisione; sua (`its') seems to imply that the variation is an expected addition.(7) The idea that dances, by definition, include either written or improvised variations, had been expressed a century earlier in Arbeau's Orchesographie (1588); his choreography for the gavotte takes divisions into account.(8)
In the 1701 violin sonatas of Milanese violin virtuoso Carl'Ambrogio Lonati (1645-after 1701)--Geminiani's teacher in Milan and the leader of Queen Christina's orchestra in Rome during the 1670s--we find several allemandes with doubles, called variato, and one eight-bar gavotte-like Vivace, in Sonata no.7, with three variations.(9) In the works of Corelli's colleague, keyboard player Bernardo Pasquini (1637-1710), there are Variazioni containing unlabelled gavottes with five or more variations, as well as correntes and allemandes with as many as seven variations.(10) The Lonati and Pasquini examples are stylistic bridges between earlier division style and the rhythmically more involved variations of the 18th century. Dances with variations figure prominently in the works of Roman-school imitator Handel. They appear in the Concerti gross) op.3 no.: and op.6 nos.5 and 12,(11) as well as in numerous keyboard works, the most famous example being `The Harmonious Blacksmith', a gavotte with variations that closes the 1720 Suite no.5 in E major.(12) Even more revealing are the two versions of the final minuet-like Andante that appear in the Trio Sonata, opts no.6,(13) and the Organ Concerto, op.4 no.1; the trio sonata has one modest variation but the concerto includes two further, quite virtuoso, variations.(14) Given the ad libitum nature of Handel's organ style and his reputation as an improviser, more variations were undoubtedly extemporized in performance.
Unlike the above examples, Corelli's op.5 violin sonatas, as published, include no variations for the short dance movements. All variations are notated additions by later performers, and constitute the best evidence to support the concept of player as compositional collaborator rather than simple performing medium. Because of the 18th-century English taste for Italian music and consequently, the substantial Italian musical presence in Britain, much of the extant material comes from English sources.
Two Corelli gavottas have generated the greatest number of variation sets. The only bona fide period set of variations for the gavotte of Sonata no.11 in E major appears in the manuscript Corelli's Solos Grac'd by Doburg [Dubourg]. The gavotte is followed by four very violinistic variations (ex.1). As expected, they are melodically formulaic, contrasting with the manuscript's freely ornamented movements.(15) Despite such minor technical lapses as parallel octaves and occasional harmonic clashes, these variations are very satisfying: the first variation opening the set with scalar runs, proceeding next to compound melody, a string-crossing etude in quavers, increasing motion with semiquaver triplets. The set--and the sonata--concludes with a jig in 6/8. Corelli's bass is left unchanged throughout, although in the first two variations its note values are doubled, apparently to avoid demisemiquavers in the violin part (and presumably with [symbol omitted] intended).(16) In the final 6/8 variation, [symbol omitted] and [symbol omitted] are rendered as [symbol omitted]. The renowned English violinist Matthew Dubourg (1703-67), a pupil of Corelli's disciple Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762), worked in a style close to Corelli's, and his added variations genuinely enhance the sonata, giving it more balanced proportions by adding weight to the gavotte.
David Boyden wrote that in the manuscript known as the `Walsh Anonymous'--so-called because it was discovered bound into a Walsh edition of Corelli's sonatas--the E major gavotte is treated `as a species of variation'.(17) Actually, it is a hybrid of variation and free ornamentation. The gavotte is set down twice, with repeats written out. Corelli's original never appears fully: the first strain is written out twice, first plain, then decorated. The second strain appears four times, decorated variously, with only a two-and-a-half-bar unembellished fragment at the third playing. Most of the figuration paraphrases the original; the level of organization falls somewhere between free ornamentation and true variation technique. The figuration in the upper part is awkward for the violin in many places, and the chords at the end are virtually unplayable. This lack of playability, combined with some `left-hand' keyboard writing in the otherwise unaltered Corelli bass, makes it possible that the manuscript was intended for a solo keyboard instrument.
The lack of a distinct rhythmic profile in the continuous division-like semiquavers of this particular gavotte could explain why it did not engender more variation sets satisfying enough for musicians to have written them down. Dubourg's set seems all the more admirable in that his variations supply precisely the rhythmic element absent from Corelli's text.
The gavotte of Corelli's Sonata no.10 (ex.2a) has inspired the greatest number of extant variation sets--to the point of becoming a genre unto itself later in the 18th century--undoubtedly because of its beautifully balanced construction. In a sense, Corelli himself notated the first variation; the second strain of the giga that follows it contains a tripla for most of the gavotte (ex.2b).(18)
Three sets of variations exist in English manuscript sources. The earliest of these, again in the Dubourg manuscript, may be the most inventive and appealing. The violin part of the gavotte theme is presented in an embellished version, thus illustrating the differences in style and function between ornamentation and variation for the same material. As in the E major set, there are four variations, each motivically, rhythmically and violinistically distinct (ex.3): continuous slurred semiquavers with a three-note pedal-figure in variation 1; decisive [symbol omitted] or [symbol omitted] figures in variation 2; arpeggios and higher positions in variation 3; wide leaps and syncopation in variation 4. (Interestingly, the fourth bar is the same in the decorated theme and all variations except the third.) Corelli's giga, containing a variation in tripla, discussed earlier, completes the set and the sonata. Perhaps the absence of a Dubourg giga-variation indicates his awareness that Corelli had already provided one. Dubourg's set is at least as successful as his E major variations in preserving Corelli's idiom while augmenting its content.
A little-known manuscript source, Stockholm, Roman Coll. 61 and 97, the notebook of the Swedish violinist-composer Johann Helmich Roman (1694-1758), contains, in its sometimes illegibly ornate pages, several Corelli sonata movements with the same graces as those found in the Dubourg manuscript. Roman was in London from 1715 until 1721; he may have met Dubourg, who permitted him to transcribe some embellishments, or perhaps he had access to another copy. It is not impossible that Roman and Dubourg derived their material from an unknown common source. Given the dates of Roman's stay in London, the `graces' for Corelli's sonatas ascribed to Dubourg must have been notated before, prior to the somewhat later date that David Boyden assigned to them.(19)
Recombined fragments of the variations in the Dubourg manuscript, blended with embellished sections of the gavotte theme, appear on the first page of Stockholm, Roman Coll. 61 (following an ornamented version of the first movement of Sonata no.10) (ex.4). Such notational conventions as beaming differ between the Roman and Dubourg versions, and the Roman version contains more specific bowings. In so personal a format as a fiddler's notebook, the omission of the bass is not surprising. Despite the informal notation, some variant readings may be deliberate: Roman's first bar contains a less awkward and more convincing version of the figuration in the first bar of Dubourg's fourth variation.
The Walsh Anonymous contains a twice-ornamented version of the F major gavotte within the context of the complete sonata, and the gavotte with five variations at the end of the manuscript (after Sonata no.11). While the embellished version involves motivic and sequential repetition, it is more random in figuration than true melodic variations. The repeats are written out with different ornamentation each time, and Corelli's bass is left unaltered.
The gavotte preceding the set of five variations is also embellished, interestingly, with some of the same figuration as Dubourg's decorated gavotte. The original penultimate notes in bars 5 and 6, [b-flat] and c', are brought up an octave, perhaps to remove awkward hand-crossings in otherwise simple keyboard writing. The bass is slightly different from Corelli's, and the figures are omitted. One harmony is altered in every variation: the G minor II-chord in bar 6 is replaced by a G major V7/V, a substitution also made in all subsequent manuscript and published sets. The first two variations are paired: first the upper voice has the moving line and then the bass, a procedure seen in Corelli's Follia, except that here the chords in the upper part are neither playable on, nor probably intended for, the violin. The first strain of Walsh's third variation and Dubourg's second are similar; and the second strain in Walsh's and Dubourg's third variations are identical for two bars. Variations 4 and 5 contain arpeggiation and compound melody between what must be right and left hands at the keyboard (ex.5).
Hans Joachim Marx has discussed the freely ornamented Corelli sonata movements in the manuscript Manchester-Newman Flower Coll. Ms. 130, Hd. 4, v. 313;(20) but although he lists the F major gavotte and seven variations of Manchester-Newman Flower Coll. MS 130, Hd. 4, v. 314, in his Corelli catalogue, he has not written about them.(21) The variations, copied in a hand different from the one seen in the ornamented movements, occupy three pages beginning on p.150 (erroneously listed in the table of contents as p.154). The set is simply titled `Corelli'. It is the second of two pieces in the volume so labelled; the first is a two-staff arrangement of the final Allegro in the Concerto Grosso in C minor, op.6 no.3. By the date of the Manchester manuscript--C.1750--Corelli's output was apparently so familiar that the composer's name was sufficient identification. The upper part of the gavotte is presented without slurs, three-note chords appear at the end of both strains, the part-crossings in the second strain are removed as they are in Walsh Anonymous, and figures are omitted from the bass part. Some three-part chords in the upper part may be a clue that at least this section of the Manchester manuscript, like Walsh Anonymous, was conceived with the option of solo keyboard; the two-staff reduction of the concerto grosso movement immediately preceding the gavotte variations might support this hypothesis. The set contains much violinistic writing, like passagework in the third variation reaching f'" in the fifth position, a challenging but idiomatic figure; and the registrar interplay of figuration in the seventh variation, where the bass is also varied, would function well for violin and violoncello (ex.6).
The Manchester variations are similar to Dubourg's, though they lack his compactness and energy. There are also some awkwardly written passages: an upward leap of a 5th during a semiquaver run in the first bar of variation 2, and a downward leap of a g" from g" to f' in the first bar of variation 6. Interestingly, in the Dubourg, Walsh and Manchester manuscripts, the second strain of variation 3 begins in the same way; further, Dubourg and Manchester are practically identical for the entire strain. Perhaps the anonymous authors of the Walsh and Manchester manuscripts had heard the famous virtuoso Dubourg and, intentionally or not, reproduced fragments of his performance.
While F major variations appear in manuscripts containing other Corelli sonata materials, only in the Dubourg manuscript are they placed in the appropriate movement order as part of the complete sonata. Clearly, variation sets can be played or improvised either separately or as part of a larger work. As the 18th century progressed, `theme and variations' became an important genre, and as early as the 17405 a separate air varie category appears in music publishers' catalogues.
The remaining variation sets for Corelli dance movements appear in published period sources as separate compositions, either individually or in anthologies. A pair of F major gavotte variations appears in The Harpsichord or Spinnet Miscellany,(22) published in 1761 by Robert Bremner (C.1713-89), a pupil of Geminiani; the first of these is rhythmically active in the treble, the second in the bass, along the lines of Corelli's Follia or the first variation-pair in the Walsh Anonymous set.
With their fascination for Corelli and Italian music in general, 18th-century English musicians continued working in styles that had already been superseded on the Continent, providing late evidence for the performing practices used by Italian musicians of Corelli's generation. The extant variations of English provenance are useful both as vehicles for actual performance, and as models for players interested in inventing variations for short dance movements in early 18th-century repertory.
The last English source to be discussed is the only extant set of variations for the giga of Corelli's Sonata no.5 in G minor. It may be that this giga is not ideal as the basis for variations; it is long and involved, its phrase structure and harmony less naturally adapted for the purpose. The printed source is The Favourite GIGG in CORELLI'S 5TH SOLO with Divisions by Sigrs. Cateni & Valentini, Adapted for the Violin and Harpsichord. London [C.1780]. Printed and Sold by John Preston, No. 97 Strand (illus.1).(23)
Corelli's text, with a few added bowings and dynamics, appears on the first page; the two divisions appear on pp. 2-3. `Division' is an accurate description, as each of these variations proceeds entirely without rhythmic variety, like the divisions of the 17th century (ex.7). Cateni's division in semiquavers, written entirely with four-note down- and up-bow staccato, is a virtuoso bowing study if played as written. Valentini's division further increases the activity with slurred semiquaver sextuplets. Both variations couch Corelli's notes in violinistic passagework, adding speed and brilliance. While not unlike some of the extant free ornamentation for quick Corelli movements, as variations they stay closer to the melodic contours of the Corelli original. Cateni's variation is similar to the moto perpetuo movements in Corelli Sonatas nos. 1, 3 and 6, though its arpeggiated diminished seventh chords, slight chromaticism and virtuoso bowing are more characteristic of a somewhat later style. Both the Bremner F major variations and the `divisions' in the Preston print represent a popular, if old-fashioned, type of 18th century English publication demonstrating a familiar performance tradition fused with the continued popularity and commercial viability of Corelli's music. (24)
For French sources of Corelli variations we return to the F major gavotte from Sonata no.10. All but one of these sources stems from the great violinist and pedagogue Giuseppe Tartini. That one source is the Recueil de pieces pour les flutes traversieres, violons, pardessus de viole & c. (Paris, 1744-51) by Michel Blavet (1700-68), a three-volume collection of short pieces for two treble instruments without bass. The first volume (1744) (25) contains, on pp. 56-7, the F major Gavotte de Corelli with five variations. Its inclusion in a French print again attests to Corelli's powerful influence on 18th-century music. As presented, the gavotte is Frenchified by the addition of little crosses typically representing trills, and by a port-de-voix from e' to f' at the cadence. The port-de-voix is uncommon; it appears in only one English source, closing the first strains of variations 3 and 4 in the Manchester manuscript. In Blavet's set, it is added at the cadence in all but the second variation. Corelli's bass is given in the second treble part an octave higher than in the original, and notes falling below e' are brought up a further octave, presumably to avoid the flute's lowest register.
Blavet's first variation is an old-style division in semiquavers; with Corelli's bass printed beneath it, points of imitation between the voices are logical and stylistic. The remaining four variations appear without the bass, a customary omission in such prints, but one which may have another cause in this case. While the English variations retain Corelli's linear bass and earlier style, Blavet's last four variations are composed in the mid-18th-century galant style where each variation is even more rigidly figural. Although the original bass does function harmonically with these variations, its omission may indicate that the second treble instrument should in stead provide a reduced accompaniment in crotchets or minims, similar to the homophonic basses in the Tartini variations discussed below.
The lengthiest set of variations for Corelli's F major gavotte, L'arte del arco by Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770), is as much a didactic as a concert work. Certainly the title, `The art of the bow', and the work's exhaustive examination of bowing, each variation posing another technical challenge, seem to denote a pedagogic function. If one gives credence to the possibly apocryphal story about Tartini's awe at Veracini's command of bowing on 10 March 1712 and his subsequent retreat to Ancona to rethink his own technique, L'arte del arco could well be regarded as a product of that self-imposed exile.(26)
The Tartini set exists in several versions from different periods, certainly due to its partly oral transmission, a function of the teacher-pupil relationship in Tartini's Padua `School of Nations', founded in 1728.
It is beyond the scope of this article to give a detailed account of the work's transmission except to say that there are three basic stages in the set's development: a version from 1745 with 17 variations, one published in Paris in 1757 with 38, and a So-variation version published in Naples in 1786. The best-known published version appears in J. B. Cartier's exhaustive retrospective of 18th-century violin literature, L'art du violon, where, in the first edition, we find the 38-variation version; in the second edition, the remaining 12, taken from the Naples print, follow.(27) With the Tartini set, the gavotte with variations is completely removed from the context of its surrounding sonata and transformed into an extended classical theme and variations. All versions of the Tartini set dispense entirely with the original imitative bass-line of Corelli's gavotte, substituting a chordal bass in crotchets--or in the earliest version, minims.
The last set of F major variations appears in L'ombre de Tartini--`Tartini's ghost'--Sonate Fanto-magique by Michel Woldemar (1750-1815), a virtuoso violinist of two generations after Tartini. The work is a homage to Woldemar's violinistic forbears, a sort of early Romantic tombeau. Woldemar (opposite) The Favourite Gigg in Corelli's 5th Solo (London: John Preston, c. 1780) (London, British Library) had already published Ombres of Mestrino, Pugnani and Lolli (Woldemar's teacher), each in the style of its dedicatee. In L'ombre de Tartini, one movement paraphrases the `Devil's Trill', another is an elaborately ornamented slow movement printed in score with a plain version,(28) still another is an actual Tartini menuet which Woldemar continues as a polonaise, and, as might be expected, there are 12 variations on the Gavotte de Corelli, qui a servi de Theme [sic] a Tartini pour ses Variations d'archet, with a few new technical twists and some amusing theatrical directions like `the ghost plays Corelli's gavotte'. Published after 1800, Woldemar's L'ombre de Tartini retrospectively acknowledges the old but still living tradition of adding improvised or newly composed variations to short dance movements, some of which were themselves archaic.(29)
The many variation sets written down in lieu of improvisation over a 120-year period indicate that, like free ornamentation, extemporized or prepared variations for brief dance pieces were necessary and expected additions. Free ornamentation intensifies and personalizes the text with expressive figuration; variations demonstrate improvisatory skill under more rhythmically and melodically controlled conditions, and add weight to the proportions of short dance movements, integrating them better into larger works. By experiencing both types of improvisatory practice, present-day musicians can obtain a clearer understanding of the 17th- and 18th-century performer's creative, as well as interpretive, role.
When inventing variations (or, for that matter, free ornamentation) ex tempore, it may be useful to begin with notated period examples, progressively substituting larger amounts of improvised figuration. Experience and familiarity with various types of passagework should then enable a player to create variations within appropriate styles: freer fort-spinnung for early works, and more formulaic, figural variations for later galant or classical pieces. In complete Corelli-period works, four or five added variations should work well for the appropriate dance movements; the variations should build on the affective content of the theme, technical display taking a somewhat secondary role. Longer, classical-style variation sets can explore more demanding technical vocabulary--e.g. variations centering on staccato, trills, double-stops, etc.; these variations, like those in Tartini's L'arte del arco, can be as much technical as formal explorations of a theme, virtuosity even becoming a structural component as the set unfolds.
By adding variation sets to seemingly brief dance movements, the player, in effect, completes their structure, restoring the works in which they appear to dimensions that 17th- and 18th-century musicians would probably have recognized and found appropriate. Treated in this way, these works may have a more vital meaning for modern audiences, and shed new light on the importance of the collaboration between the composer and the performer.(30)
Appendix: Period sources
Sonata no. 5: Giga
The Favourite GIGG in / CORELLI'S 5TH SOLO / With Divisions by Sighs. Cottony & Valentini, / Adapted for the Violin and Harpsichord / London. Printed and Sold by John Preston no.97 Strand (c.1780) (London, British Library, g.271.t 19)
Sonata no.10: Gavotta
Corelli's / Solos / Grac'd by / Doburg [Dubourg] (c.1721) (Ms., private collection), pp. 34-5
Stockholm, Roman Coll. 61 (c.1720), p.1
University of California at Berkeley, Music Library, Boyden Collection, Walsh Anonymous (c.1720), pp. 14-15 [ornamentation]; pp. 22-3 [variations]
Manchester Public Libraries (Greater Manchester), Henry Watson Music Library, Newman Flower Coll., Ms. 130, Hd. 4, v. 314 (c.1740), pp. 150-52
The Harpsichord or Spinnet Miscellany (London: Bremner, 2/; it/Williamsburg, 1972), p.19: `Gavot by Corelli'
[I.sup.er] [-IIIeme] Recueil de pieces, Petits Airs, Brunettes, Menuets, &c. Avec des Doubles et des Variations, Accomode pour les Flutes traversieres, Violons, Pardessus de Viole &c. Par M. [Michel] BLAVET . . . Le Tout recueilli et mis en ordre par M*** . . . Paris: chez M. Blavet Au palais Abatial de St. Germain des prez. M. BOIVIN Mde. rue At. Honore a la regle d'or; et M. LECLERC Md. rue du roule a la croix d'or (1744), pp.56-7: `Gavotte de Corelli' (London, British Library, Hirsch III. 125)
NOUVELLE ETUDE / POUR / LE VIOLON / ou / Maniere de varier et orner une piece / dans le gout du Cantabile Italien / Par / Mr. Petronio Pinelli / Virtuoso Romano. / Augmente d'un Gavotte de / Corelli, travailliez [sic] et / doublez [sic] Par Mr. Giuseppe Tartini / Grave par le Hue / a Paris / chez Madame Boivin, Marchande Rue St. Honore a la Regle d'Or / Monsieur Le Clerc, Marchand Rue du Roule a la Croix d'Or / Madame Hue M. de Lingere chez Mr. Canelle Md Monnetier Rue St. Honore / Attendant le Palais Royale, vis-a-vis Le Caffe de Mr. Depuis, au deuxieme / Avec Privilege du Roy (1745), pp.18-20: `Gavotte Di Arcangelo Corelli con le mutazione di Giuseppe Tartini' [untitled first version of L'arte del arco with 17 variations] (Washington DC, Library of Congress, MT 265 P5M)
SONATE / Per / Violin, e Basso, o Cembalo / del Sigr. / GIUSEPPE / Opera Prima / Si Vendono da Giuseppe Manna Cartolaro in Campo Marzo / Ant: Raziani Sc: (Ms., private collection), final work: `Partite' [contains slightly shorter manuscript copy of above with 16 variations], unpaginated
L'ARTE DEL ARCO /OU/L'ART DE L'ARCHET/Contenant 38. Variations / Composees sous la plus Belle Gavotte de Corelly. / PAR / GIUSEPPE TARTINI / di Padoua. / Gravees par Mme. Leclair / Prix 3 / A PARIS / Chez M. Leclerc, rue du Roule a la Croix d'Or / Et aux Adresses Ordinaires /Avec Privilege du Roy (1757) (Washington DC, Library of Congress, MT 267 T172 case)
L'ARTE DELL'ARCO / O SIANO / CINQUANTA VARIAZIONI / PER VIOLINO, E SEMPRE COLLO STESSO BASSO / COMPOSTE DAL [SIG.sup.r.] GIUSEPPE TARTINI, SOPRA ALLA PIU BELLA GAVOTTA DEL CORELLI OPERA V / IN NAPOLI / Apresso Luigi Marescalchi Editore Privilegiato con Privativa da S.M. (D. G.) / Si vendor) nelle Librerie di Antonio Hermil vicino all Consezione di Toledo, da Giuseppe Maria Porcelli / as. Biagio de'Librari, e per tutte le Citta principali d'Europa, agli adrezzi ordinarij, dove si vende la Musica Stampata (1786) (New York, Public Library for the Performing Arts, Research Division, Mus. Res. *MYK)
Jean-Baptiste Cartier: L'Art du Violon (Paris: Decombe, c.1798), no.94, pp.194-201: L'ART DE L'ARCHET / PAR TARTINI GRAVE SUR UN MANUSCRIT DE L'AUTEUR / Appartenant a J.B. Passeri [38 variations] (Chicago, Newberry Library)
Jean-Baptiste Cartier: L'Art du Violon ... Troisieme edition. Revue et corrigee (Paris: Decombe, [C.1803]; it/New York, 1973), no.94, pp.194 - 205: `L'ART DE L'ARCHET ...' [50 variations]
J[ean]. M[arie]. Raoul: Methode de Violoncelle, Opera 4 (Paris: Pleyel, [C.1799]; R/Geneva, 1972), pp.84-93: `Airs varies pour Violoncelle et Basse l'Art de l'Archet de Tartini'
L'Ombre / DE / TARTINI / Sonate Fanto-magique / Pour le Violon / COMPOSEE ET DEDIEE / aux Manes de ce Virtuose / PAR / [Michel] WOLDEMAR / Eleve de Lolli / Prix 3 / A PA R I S / Chez B[ernard]. Vigurie, Rue Vivienne no.38. et aux Adresse ordinaire de Musique / Propriete de l'Auteur. Enrege. a la Bibliotheque Nle (C.1803), pp.6-9: `Gavotte de Corelli: Thema con variazioni' (Washington DC, Library of Congress, M219 W856 8dpm [rare])
Sonata no.11: Gavotta
Corelli's / Solos / Grac'd by / Doburg, pp.44-5
Walsh Anonymous, pp.19-20
Variations for a non-dance movement: Sonata no.11: Adagio
Johann Gottfried Walter, Alcuni Variationi sopra un Basso Continuo del Sigr Corelli (Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Ms. 22541), bk. 4, p.14; DDT xxvi-xxvii, ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1906), pp.301-3
Variation composition based on a dance movement: Sonata no.7: Sarabanda
Francesco Geminani [attrib.], Chaconne upon the Sarabanda Theme (Durham Cathedral Library, Ms. Mus. E25); ed. L. Ring (London, 1958)
Variations other than opts: Concerto grosso, op.6 no.10: Minuet
Minuet by Correlli [sic] With  Variations for the Harpsicord [sic] or Piano Forte 3d. London. Printed by LONGMAN LUKEY and BRODERIP No. 26 Cheapside, (c.1776) (private collection)
(1) For the most up-to-date findings see Neal Zaslaw's article in this issue. (2) M. Pincherle, Corelli et son temps (Paris, 1954), trans. H. E. M. Russell as Corelli, his life, his work (New York, 1956), p.116. (3) Pincherle, Corelli, trans. Russell, p.199, n.84 (my additions in brackets); the original text is in Georg Muffat, Prima eletta (Passau, 1701), ed. E. Luntz, Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich [DTO], xxiii (Vienna, 1904), p.22. (4) Christopher Simpson, The Division-Viol (London, 2/1665; R1995). (5) Roger North on music: being a selection from his essays written during the years C.1695-1728, ed. J. Wilson (London, 1959), pp.309, 355. (6) See Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Sonatae, violino solo [Sonatas for violin and continuo] ([Salzburg], 1681), ed. G. Adler, DTO, xi (Vienna, 1898), pp.37-8. --, Harmonia artificiosa-ariosa (Nurnberg: Endter, 1712), ed. P. Nettl and F. Reidinger, DTO, xcii (Vienna, 6), pp.70-78. --, Sonatis, Preludis, Allemandis, Courent; Saraband: Arijs, Ciacona, Variationibus & Honori XV Sacronem Mijsterinem [Sonatas for violin and continuo on the Mysteries of the Rosary], MS, Mus. 4123, Staatsbibliothek, Munich , ed. E. Luntz, DTO, xxv (Vienna, 1905), pp.5-7, 44-8, 64. (7) Nicola Matteis, Ayrs for the Violin (London, 1676-85; R/Ridgewood, NJ, 66), part 4, pp.20-21. (8) Thoinot Arbeau [Jehan Tabourot], Orchesographie (Langres, 1589), trans. M. S. Evans (London, 1948; R/New York, 1966), p.175 (9) Carl'Ambrogio Lonati, Violin Sonatas [original title-page not extant] (MS, Milan, 1701), ed. F. Giegling (Winterthur, Switzerland, 1981). (10) Bernardo Pasquini: Collected works for keyboard, ed. M. B. Haynes, Corpus of Early Keyboard Music, v (American Institute of Musicology, 1967), iii, pp.2-8, 29-42; and iv, pp.1-24. (11) G. F. Handels Werke: Ausgabe der Deutschen Handelgesellschaft [HG], ed. F. W. Chrysander (Leipzig, 1858-94), xxi, pp.24-6; xxx, pp.75-6, 176-7. (12) HG, ii, pp.36-8. For other dances with variations in Handel's keyboard oeuvre, see his 1733 volume in HG, ii, esp. pp.66-8, 79-80, 82-3,106-7. (13) HG, xxvii, pp.193-4. (14) HG, xxviii, pp.18-21. (15) H J. Marx, `Some unknown embellishments of Corelli's violin sonatas', Musical quarterly, lxi (1975), p.72, observes that surviving elaborations of fast movements are more rhythmically distinct than the florid graces of the slow movements; he feels that they may demonstrate what Quantz refers to as `willkurliche Veranderungen' -- arbitrary or extempore variations. Note that this kind of free division-style ornamentation is applied by both Dubourg and Geminiani to the Tempo di gavotte in Sonata no.", where movement length makes a set of melodic variations impractical. The Dubourg version is discussed in M. Pincherle, De l'ornementation des sonates de Corelli, Feuillets d'Histoire du Violon (Paris, 1927), p.140, and Pincherle, Corelli, trans. Russell, pp.118-1g. The Geminiani example is in Sir John Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (London, 1776; 2/1853; R/New York-, 1963), ii, p.906. (16) If the tactus, either crotchet or minim, remains constant throughout the set, the gavotte probably should be played more slowly than usual; a slower tempo would make it more a dance and less a moto perpetuo. (17) D. Boyden, `The Corelli "solo" sonatas and their ornamental additions by Corelli, Geminiani, Dubourg, Tartini, and the "Walsh Anonymous"', Musica antiqua europae orientalis, iii: Acta scientifica [Report of the Congress of Musicology at Bydgoszcs, Poland] (1972), p.596. (18) Arcangelo Corelli, Sonate a violino e violone o cimbalo ... Opera Quinta (Rome, 1700; it/Florence, 1979), pp.55-6. This reuse of material has already been noted in M. Pincherle, Les violinistes (Paris, 1922), p.52. Motivic repetition and quotation appear throughout Corelli's chamber sonatas, opts nos.7-11, and in some of the church sonatas, opts nos.1-6. Good examples are the two fugal allegros of Sonata no.1, the preludio and corrente of Sonata no.7, the preludio and allemande of Sonata no.10, and all the movements of Sonata no.8. The use of tripla is an old manifestation of motivic repetition, commonly occuring between paired dances like the pavan and galliard. In the tenth sonata, it may have been the discrepancy between the lengths of the gavotte and giga that kept Corelli from inserting the tripla until the middle of the giga. (19) Roman and circumstances relating to his Corelli material are fully discussed in G. Burdette, `New finds in violin music of the Corelli School', Music research forum: journal of graduate student research, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, ii/1 (Winter 1987), pp.7-21. (20) Marx, `Some unknown embellishments'. (21) H. J. Marx, Die Uberlieferung der Werke Arcangelo Corellis: Catalogue raisonne (Cologne, 1980), p.324. (22) The Harpsichord or Spinnet Miscellany (Edinburgh, 1761; 2/London, [c 1765]; R Williamsburg, VA, 1972), p.19: `Gavot by Corelli'. (23) `Valentini' may be Giuseppe Valentini (168O-after 1759), possibly a pupil of Corelli, whose music, although obviously influenced by Corelli, has some of the bizarre elements found in the work of Florentine compatriot Francesco Maria Veracini (1690-1760). See, for example, XII Solos [Allettamenti] for the Violin or Violoncello With a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord Compos'd by Giuseppe Valentini, Opera Octava (London, 1714; modern edn London, 1983). In his New Grove article, Michael Talbot notes that Burney felt Valentini's music to have been forgotten `without any loss to the public, or injustice to the author'. Valentini had died a number of years before the Preston print, perhaps in Paris, so if he was the author of one of Preston's divisions, the history of its transmission would be interesting to learn. One can speculate about the identity of `Sigr Cateni': R. Eitner, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen Lexicon (Leipzig, 1900-1904), ii, p.371, lists a Giuseffo [Giuseppe] Cattaneo who published 6 Sonate a Violino e Basso, op.2 (London, 1760). (24) A number of such publications exist, like Minuet by Correlli [sic] With  Variations for the Harpsicord [sic] or Piano Forte (London, [C.1776]), based on the minuet from the Concerto Grosso in C major, op.6 no.10. (25) The publication is announced in the Mercure de France, December 1744 (A/Geneva, 1970), xlvii, p.135; cited in F. Lesure, Catalogue de la musique imprimee avant 1800: conservee dans les bibliotheques de Paris (Paris, 1981), p.54. (26) See J. W. Hill, The life and works of Francesco Maria Veracini (diss., Harvard U., 1972), pp.12-14. (27) Cartier, in a moment of unscrupulous salesmanship, claimed his 50-variation version to have been based on a Tartini autograph. Actually, the first 38 variations are drawn from the Paris print of 1757, and the remaining 12 from the Naples print of 1786. I discovered that Cartier's revealing signed personal copy of the Naples edition is housed in the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center; no bibliographic source, not even records of that library's holdings, notes this copy's important previous owner. The Naples variation sequence is very different from the earlier Paris version. Cartier carefully went through his copy of the Naples print in search of the 12 new variations, writing numbers from 39 to so beside each of them. Without alterations, these 12 are next seen grouped together after the original 38 in the second edition of Cartier's L'art du violon. The most up-to-date findings in the transmission of L'arte del'arco appear in R. E. Seletsky, Improvised variation sets for short dance movements, circa 1680-1800, exemplified in period sources for Corelli's violin sonatas, opus 5 (DMA thesis, Cornell U., 1989), pp.44-66. It was initially discussed in M. D'Andrea, Tartini's `L'arte del'arco': its history and development (MA thesis, Indiana U., 1979). (28) See the 1710 Roger edition of the Corelli sonatas for the classic example of this practice, or the foldout at the end of Cartier's L'art du violon for the ultimate example. (29) Note that among the composed variation sets from the period C.1800, dances still serve as themes. One example of a gavotte fulfilling this function is Anton Reicha (1770-1836), L'Art de Varier, ou 57 Variations pour le Piano Forte (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel, C.1803; R/Florence, 1986). A famous example is the second movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto in B[b-flat] major, K456, composed in 1784. (30) In 1970 violinist Eduard Melkus recorded the Dubourg variations for Corelli's tenth and eleventh sonatas, as well as the Cateni division of the giga in the fifth sonata on Archiv (LP) 2533133. He also recorded 30 of the Naples L'arte del'arco variations on Archiv (LP) 2533086, though he follows the 1757 Paris edition variation sequence.
Robert Seletsky has researched various aspects of the Baroque violin and has published articles and editions. He and Neal Zaslaw are co-editing Corelli's Violin Sonatas, opts, for Oxford University Press, with all extant ornamented versions and variations. He is a professional Baroque violinist and the director and leader of several ensembles.
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|Title Annotation:||Music in Henry Purcell's London II; Arcangelo Corelli|
|Author:||Seletsky, Robert E.|
|Date:||Feb 1, 1996|
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