Long considered one of the pinnacle geniuses of Western music, Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) was one of the most influential Baroque composers. His output is entirely instrumental, published in a mere six opus numbers (each containing twelve pieces). Along with Vivaldi, Corelli has maintained an easy eminence among Italian Baroque instrumental composers. His Concerti Grossi have continued to be immensely popular. Besides the Concerti Grossi of Op. 6, Corelli's remaining published output consists entirely of trio sonatas. This was the most important chamber music genre of the time, consisting of two top lines (of basic equality) and a basso continuo (usually played by more than one instrument). Corelli is universally acknowledged as the composer who perfected this form.
The principal attraction of this set lies in the extensive ornamentation, which follows written-down versions as performed by Corelli and other contemporary virtuosos. Some sonatas are performed with harpsichord, others with just three strings. The ornaments are a new and welcome twist, a change from the overly slick Corelli often fashionable; yet intonation and security of tone are not always of the highest standard usually associated with these outstanding musicians.