Herbert von Karajan: Corelli Christmas Concerto, Berliner Philharmoniker

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Arcangelo Corelli
Arcangelo Corelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Arcangelo Corelli
Christmas Concerto op.6 n.8
Herbert von Karajan and Berliner Philharmoniker

Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8, by Arcangelo Corelli, known commonly as his Christmas Concerto, was commissioned by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni and published posthumously in 1714 as part of his Twelve concerti grossi, Op. 6. The concerto bears the inscription Fatto per la notte di Natale ("Made for the night of Christmas"). It was composed around 1690, since there is a record of Corelli having that year performed a Christmas concerto for the enjoyment of his then-new patron. The concerto is scored for an ensemble consisting of two concertino violins and cello, ripieno strings and continuo. The work is structured as a concerto da chiesa, in this case expanded from a typical four movement structure to six.

1.Vivace, 3/4 -- Grave. Arcate, sostenuto e come stà, 4/2
2.Allegro, common time
3.Adagio -- Allegro -- Adagio, common time, E-flat major
4.Vivace, 3/4
5.Allegro, cut time
6.Largo. Pastorale ad libitum, 12/8, G major

Each relatively short movement provides multiple tempi and a range of major and minor suspensions. The concerto is generally no longer than fifteen minutes, ending with Corelli's famous Pastorale ad libitum, a peaceful 12/8 finale in the pastorale form.

Recommended For You: Trevor Pinnock: Corelli Christmas Concerto

Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, portrait by Francesc...
Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, portrait by Francesco Trevisani. The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Portrait of Arcangelo Corelli from the title p...
Portrait of Arcangelo Corelli from the title page of his Twelve Concerti Grossi Op.6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)