Giovanni Vitali’s set of twelve sonatas Op. 5 for various combinations of strings and continuo, published in 1669, was the Bolognese composer's most ambitious collection of chamber music to date. He most likely wrote it as an application piece for membership of the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica, for each sonata has a dedicatory subtitle bearing the name of one of the city’s noblemen. This second volume contains four works – the sonatas for two violins, violone and organ continuo.
Although these pieces require ‘organo’ according to the practice of ‘church sonata’ (i.e. non dance-works) a harpsichord can be used equally effectively.