Corelli’s Christmas Concerto

Here is a great period performance of Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8 by Accademia deli Astrusi. This piece was first performed on Christmas, 1690 and bears the inscription”Made for the night of Christmas.” The concerto is made up of six short movements which alternate in tempo between fast and slow. The final movement is a serene Pastorale which suggests the nativity scene

The drama of a concerto grosso (big concerto) lies in the contrast between solo voices and the full ensemble. Corelli loved using suspensions, holding out notes which sound “wrong” and then resolve. Listen to the complex interplay between instruments. Also notice the use of ornamentation on the repeats.