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The Avison Ensemble - Corelli: Opus 1 & 3 - AllMusic.com


23 May 2014
AllMusic.com
James Manheim
4 Stars

Arcangelo Corelli was a pioneer in the church sonata (sonata da chiesa) as in so many other things. These chamber works (often in four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast) were not necessarily performed in churches. They are trio sonatas for two violins and a continuo, here realized by a cello (an unlikely choice for such early music), an archlute, and harpsichord or organ. Britain's Avison Ensemble has a homogeneous, silvery tone that serves the music well, emphasizing its classic qualities and nicely underplaying the virtuoso touches that Corelli wrote into or implied for the violin parts. This release completes a Corelli cycle by the group, thus ending with the composer's earlier music. Probably the later works are preferable for those wanting just one release in the series; the Op. 1 set here, although extraordinarily influential, lacks really memorable tunes, and the set as a whole, featuring a sequence of 98 movements just a bit more than a minute long in most cases, may be better appreciated in pieces than as a whole. But listeners won't understand the Baroque trio sonata without hearing these works, and the double album should find a place on many shelves or hard drives (or in cloud spaces) of Baroque music. Linn's sound here, recorded at a church in the Cambridge suburb of Chesterton, evokes the Roman churches where this music, dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, may well have originally been performed.


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Related Links

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The Avison EnsembleThe Avison Ensemble
Corelli: Opus 1 & 3: Church SonatasCorelli: Opus 1 & 3: Church Sonatas