"La Folia" Sonata in D Minor (Op. 5 No. 12) for Flute & Strings

Uploaded on Nov 8, 2017

One of the seminal figures of Baroque music, Arcangelo Corelli was the first master of the modern violin, and the predominance of that instrument in the music of the following three centuries is his technical and pedagogical legacy. He managed to extract from it a beauty of tone and singing lyricism that were previously unknown; these qualities brought him international fame, both for his own performances and for those of his many students who began to disseminate his techniques. It would not be an overstatement to say that the fundamentals of modern string playing -- including issues of both bowing and fingering -- descend directly from Corelli.

Falling at the end of Corelli's great Op. 5 collection of violin sonatas is a series of 24 variations on the Portuguese tune (or rather, chord sequence) La Follia (or Folia). The source material was popular for more than a century before Corelli took it on, but this sonata linked the melody so closely to Corelli's name that Rachmaninov would later call his own musings on the tune Variations on a Theme of Corelli. The moderately paced, triple-meter melody lays itself out over the course of eight measures, maintaining an implacable emphasis on the second beat. Corelli first offers it in its bare form, although many violinists to freely ornament this first statement. (Some performers also include a guitar-like instrument in the continuo section to bring out the music's Iberian character.) Corelli next strips the melody down to a skeleton of paired notes, fleshing out the melody only toward the end of phrases. He then takes the opposite course with a pair of variations that pile more and more notes onto the melodic framework. The following variation comes down hard on the melody's downbeats. From here, Corelli goes for maximum contrast: sparse notes marking only the melodic contour; rapid passagework first for violin and then for continuo; a gently rocking and pastoral treatment followed by short, descending fragmentary phrases; a spastically syncopated variation preceding a sequence of slow double stops that merely follow the melody's outline; a spiky treatment followed by a variation that impatiently rolls through each phrase and then pauses; an operatic lament; an increasingly intense complaint; a sequence that beings with a good-natured treatment but takes on increasing urgency; and so on. The piece ends in a brilliantly jagged variation without prettifying the tragic character Corelli has maintained throughout this work.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/sonata-for-violin-continuo-in-d-minor-la-follia-op5-12-mc0002419049).

Although originally written for Violin and Continuo , I created this Arrangement of the "La Folia" Sonata in D Minor (Op. 5 No. 12) for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).


Pages 23
Duration 09:13
Measures 351
Key signature 2 flats
Parts 5
Part names Flute, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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