Trio Sonata, Op. 3, No

Trio Sonata, Op. 3, No. 2 (1685) Movements 1-4

Op. 3 no. 2


The op. 3 of Corelli's Trio Sonatas were dedicated in 1689 to Duke Francesco II of Modena. This opus along with the op. 1 are called Sonata da Chiesa or Church Sonata, and they were played in sacred places. They are generally in four movements: slow-fast-slow-fast and they have a marked contrapuntal style.


The first movement has binary form with the sections A and B repeated. At the beginning there is a fugue with the subject in the measure 1 (repeated in measure 6) and the answer in measure 3. In terms of tonality the section A starts in D major and modulates to A major (the dominant) at the end of the section A. In the Section B there are modulations from the Dominant (A major) passing through: b minor in measure 16, e minor in measure 28 and ending in the tonic D major.  The harmony moves in triads with a few suspensions in measures: 18-19; 20-30 and fifth progressions from measures 32 to 35. This movement is based on one theme (monothematic). The texture passes through the counterpoint, the fugue in the beginning, the monophony, the imitation (m 11-14) and the stretto from measures 20 to 22.


The first movement of this sonata can be contrasted with the fourth movement in terms of the imitation which is more evident in this fourth movement than in the first movement, the imitational element is led by the two violins which are dialoguin through the whole movement:  the first violin exposes the motives first and then the second violin continues the motives developing it. Between this two movement there is not an important contrast in texture because both have a contrapuntal character, but in the fourth movement the texture tends to fluctuate among monophonic, homophonic, the fugal style at the beginning always with the contrapuntal element as a base. This fourth movement is in binary form, like the first movement with the repetitions and harmonically Corelli followed the same harmonic structure: beginning in the tonic modulate to the dominant key in the section B, and then the modulations through various related keys until the returning to the tonic at the end, the different element here is the utilization of a codetta in measures 41-43.


I choose these two movements of Corelli’s op 3 no. 2 Trio Sonata because it is a typical example of corelli's style and also because his trio Sonatas were the base of the compositional technique that he used in his concerti grossi.

Works CitedEdit

Dolmetsch, Arnold. “Six Trios for Two Violins and Violoncello, or Pianoforte by Arcangelo Corelli.” The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular. Vol. 31, No. 568 (1890): 363

Allsop, Peter. "Corelli, Arcangelo." The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press accessed March17, 2014.       /opr/t114/e1622.

Arcangelo, Corelli. Trio Sonatas op 3 no.2. March 2014.

link to the picture:

“Trio Sonata, Op 3, No. 2 (1685): Movements 1-4." Posted by “umlmusichistory,” Uploaded, Nov 26, 2012.