Movement 1: Allegro
Movement 2: Allegro
Movement 3: Largo
Movement 4: Allegro
Furthermore, Locatelli still largely retains the archaic structure of seventeenth-century instrumental music. All the concertos but one are in a minimum of four movements, and several of them use Corelli's multi-sectional design with short contrasted passages sewn together like a patchwork quilt. It is no accident that the exception, No 7 in F, is the only one in the three-movement pattern long established by Venetian composers, for it is also by far the most modern in style, with a fiery opening Allegro for solo violin and strings. On the other hand, Locatelli's Op 1 is far from being a slavish imitation of Corelli's Op 6. In many respects it resembles the sets of concertos that Geminiani was to publish in London in the early 1730s. Locatelli shares with Geminiani (another Italian violinist who studied in Rome and settled in northern Europe) a fondness for combining conservative structures with an up-to-date musical language, and it is no surprise that he continued the concerto grosso format in all his later sets of concertos except for L'arte del violino.
This compromise between ancient and modern, Corelli and Vivaldi, Rome and Venice, appealed greatly to English audiences, as it must have done in Holland. Locatelli's Op 1 seems to have been successful, for it was issued in a revised and corrected edition in 1729, and was republished by Walsh in London in 1736. Thus, it is surprising that the set made so little impact on eighteenth-century England. Charles Burney gave Locatelli very short shrift, merely observing of his music that it 'excites more surprise than pleasure', while Charles Avison placed him among those progressive composers whose music was 'defective in various harmony and true invention'. Had they known his Op 1 they might have revised their opinion, for the collection, with its solid craftsmanship, imaginative textures and exciting virtuosity, deserves to be ranked among the best sets of concerti grossi.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1995