The Avison Ensemble - Corelli: Opus 1 & 3 - ClassicsToday.com
20 May 2014ClassicsToday.com
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.
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 in keys such as
F, A, D, and G major (sound clip).
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 stylistically 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.
Related LinksPavlo BeznosiukThe Avison EnsembleCorelli: Opus 1 & 3: Church Sonatas