Manchester, 14th-18th July 2004


Miguel Ángel Marín (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)

Mengs inspired by Orpheus: the reception of Corelli in eighteenth-century Madrid (c.1680 - c.1780)

If a characteristic feature of Corelli studies would have to be pointed out, it would probably be its recurrent emphasis on dissemination. Corelli music reached not only metropolitan and provincial towns all over Europe, particularly in England, but also further afield. Remote places such as the Bolivian mission of Chiquitos, colonial Mexico and Calcutta shared the same instrumental repertory. Hardly any other composer before 1800 enjoyed such a worldwide—in a quite literal sense—dissemination.

Spain seems not to be part of this scenario. Even though the Italian influence on its eighteenth-century cultural and musical life has been recognised to be particularly strong, virtually nothing has been researched on this issue. Our knowledge on Corelli reception in Spain is basically limited to the recently studied Jaca Manuscript—so far the Spanish source with the highest number of Corelli’s works—and a well-known statement by Anton Raphael Mengs, the official painter of Spanish King Carlos III, who in 1779 apparently said to have painted his last picture “nello stile di una sonata a tre di Corelli”. Based on newly discovered editions and closely analysed manuscripts, this paper will present a fresh view by dealing with how and when Corelli’s works were received in Madrid and what influence they exerted on local composition and performance.

Last updated on 10 May 2004