FRANCESCO GEMINIANI (1687 - 1762)
The Italian violinist and composer Francesco Geminiani belongs to the generation of Bach and Handel. He studied in Rome with the violinist-composer Arcangelo Corelli and the opera-composer Alessandro Scarlatti. In 1714 he moved to London, where he soon established himself as a performer and composer, later publishing a number of theoretical works on performance techniques and on harmony. He visited Ireland on various occasions and died in Dublin in 1762.
Geminiani published a number of sets of sonatas for violin and basso continuo, a chordal and a bass instrument, or for violin and harpsichord, a set of half a dozen sonatas for cello and harpsichord and twelve trio sonatas, for two violins, cello and harpsichord. These largely follow the example of his teacher Corelli.
Again following the example of his teacher, Geminiani wrote a number of sets of Concerti grossi, works for string orchestra, with a small solo group consisting of two violins and basso continuo, with the addition of a viola, an instrument he omitted from the larger string ensemble. His arrangements of Corelli’s Concerti grossi in this new form were particularly well-received.