WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Corelli: Opus 1 & 3 / Avison Ensemble

Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 414   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Avison Ensemble
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
SuperAudio CD:  $22.49
In Stock

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Although the Op. 6 concerti grossi get all the attention on disc, Arcangelo Corelli’s Op. 1 and 3 trio sonatas deserve equal respect. And if you’re looking for an ensemble and recording that deliver respectful, not to mention reference-quality performances, you’ll find them on this excellent new release from The Avison Ensemble. The rhythms are appropriately–necessarily–taut, the tempos suitably bright and compatible with their particular movements, the bowed-instrument timbres delightfully tangy and reedy, the plucked strings of the archlute pleasingly snappy. Sonically, the result is a vibrant, full-bodied quality that really lets us feel the special harmonic resonances, particularly scintillating
Read more in keys such as F, A, D, and G major (sound clip).

Adhering primarily to the structural formula Slow-Fast-Slow-Fast, Corelli seems to possess an unlimited capacity for invention, especially in the way he so engagingly writes for the two violins, separately but equally in dialogue or sometimes in uniform rhythm, and joined by the cello either in imitation or with a line of its own (sound clip). Hearing these sets of sonatas it’s easy to understand why they were so widely popular–”remaining in print throughout the 18th century”–and were so styistically influential and freely imitated.

If you’re a violinist, you really want to play them, as they are so perfectly conceived for that instrument, so irresistibly fun and fanciful, musically and technically substantive; and for the listener, it’s hard to imagine more agreeable ensemble writing, highlighted by the ever-stimulating conversational interplay. Beyond the trio of primary players, The Avison Ensemble keeps the continuo interesting with a combination of archlute, harpsichord, and organ, and the sound, from a Cambridge church, is representative of this label’s best. There are a few other recordings of these works, but in all respects, this one just does it better.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Trio Sonatas (12) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Op. 3 by Arcangelo Corelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Avison Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; Rome, Italy 
Trio Sonatas (12) for 2 Violins and Basso Continuo, Op. 1 by Arcangelo Corelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Avison Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1681; Rome, Italy 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title