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About Trio Sonata Op. 4, No. 2


I have loved the music of Arcangelo Corelli since first hearing his Sonata ‘La Folia’ for Violin and
Continuo Op. 5, No. 12 at a young age. Discovering his trio sonatas happened shortly thereafter.
I became especially aware of Op. 4, No. 2 while living in Malaysia and teaching guitar at UiTM. I
discovered through Intercultural Exchange in Southeast Asia by Alberts and Irving, that British
ship captain Thomas Forest sailed the Malay Archipelago (1774-84) conducting business. He
married a Malay woman and set a poem from her vernacular language to the Corrente melody
of Correli’s Trio Sonata Op. 4, No. 2. He would charm local tribe nobles by opening trade deals
with a song in their language sometimes accompanied by violin, flute and/or guitar. With such a
captivating storyline, I felt it essential to make this arrangement for my student ensemble at UiTM.


Guitarists have the option to perform this as a guitar trio or quartet. To play it as a trio simply omit
the third guitar. The third guitar represents the continuo, but as it is generally monophonic, iand
offers more structurally as a filler of the harmonies, as well as a compliment to the already exquisite
counterpoint. Trios performing this arrangement can merge elements from the third guitar into
their parts.

Performers may omit ornaments, but obligatory cadential trills should remain for performance.
The intention is to keep ornaments simple and quick, mostly performed as mordents. Likewise,
performing ensembles should feel welcome to develop their own ornamented versions.

Trio Sonata Op. 4, No. 2

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