The title is a reference to an early form of traditional or folk music that is an improvisation on a simple melodic or harmonic sequence. I can imagine Corelli doing just that; creating a brilliant violin work, based on La Follia, and adding a little extra to it while he fiddled on his fiddle, just jotting down his improvisations as they came to him without any formal structure to get in his way. It’s a great way to compose.
Of course, you and I know how much better it would have been if he’d picked up his viola, rather, and done it properly. But even the greats can miss a trick sometimes. Still, never too late.
So here it is, a simple theme followed by 23 variations: charming, brilliant, romantic, melancholy, joyful, and more besides. (In fact, there is no real reason why you need to perform these variations in any set order. You can pick and mix if the spirit moves you.) What amazing fun! 12 mins. E/M/A