The Avison Ensemble - Corelli: Opus 5 - Infodad
And sonatas are not of course confined to the Romantic era, although the word 'sonata' did mean somewhat different things in earlier times. There are pleasures galore in a highly engaging two-SACD set of Corelli chamber sonatas by The Avison Ensemble under Pavlo Beznosiuk, who directs while playing the violin. The group's four other members - Caroline Balding on violin, Richard Tunnicliffe on cello, Paula Chateauneuf on archlute and Roger Hamilton on harpsichord and organ - are thoroughly comfortable with Corelli's style and with their own places within these finely crafted Baroque pieces. The two sets of sonatas da camera are part of the Avison Ensemble's project of recording all of Corelli's chamber music, but this recording stands perfectly well on its own, with every performance poised, balanced, carefully constructed and played with a very high level of artistry. The pacing of the faster movements, and the balance within them, are particularly impressive. These sonatas have been popular among performers since their first publication in 1694, but they are not a 'fixture' in many people's classical-music collections, so this Avison Ensemble set could be a highly welcome gift for many lovers of Baroque music presented in top-notch, historically sensitive performances.