With their debut recording on Delphian, Bojan Cicic and his Illyria Consort propelled the name of Carbonelli from obscurity into the classical charts, recapturing the excitement which the violinist-composer stirred up in eighteenth-century London. Now they bring to Carbonelli’s other six surviving sonatas the same intelligence, sensitivity and sheer, exhilarating virtuosic brilliance with which they proved him to be so much more than just a ‘follower of Corelli’ or ‘contemporary of Vivaldi.’ For good measure they add in a fine concerto by the latter that bears Carbonelli’s name, and which amply demonstrates the respect in which he was held in his native Italy beforeRead more setting off to find his fame and fortune in England.
This is another ground-breaking and winning release from Bojan Cicic and his Illyria Consort. I must admit that I don’t recall encountering Carbonelli’s music before – he’s not even a name in Grove or the Oxford Companion to Music. Reported to have been a pupil of Corelli, he arrived in London around 1719, eventually converting to Anglicanism, changing his name to Carbonell, setting up as a wine merchant, and marrying.
These sonatas indicate that Carbonelli is worthy of comparison even with Handel, who frequently worked with him, or Corelli, whose Op.5 Sonatas provided the model for what seem to have been his only compositions. Biber and, of course, Vivaldi, are among the other influences to be heard. Though mostly of the 4- and 5-movement da chiesa type, that certainly doesn’t mean that they sound in any way over-solemn or po-faced.
The Illyria Consort may be comparative newcomers, but Bojan Cicic is a deserving pluralist with an impressive tally of recordings for various labels.
I defy anyone with the least degree of interest in the instrumental music of this period not to enjoy this CD or its predecessor.