Magazine article Gramophone

Corelli: 'Church Sonatas'

Magazine article Gramophone

Corelli: 'Church Sonatas'

Article excerpt

Corelli

'Church Sonatas'

Trio Sonatas--Op 1; Op 3

Avison Ensemble / Pavlo Beznosiuk vn

Linn [M] [2] [DVD] CKD411 (147' * DDD/DSD)

This double set completes the Avison Ensemble's survey of Corelli's published opuses. Both of these Roman publications contain 12 trio sonatas apiece, and the majority of them adhere to the structure of the so-called sonata da chiesa (ie slow-fast-slow-fast), hence the Avison Ensemble's title of 'Church Sonatas'--although the original editions do not actually call any of them sonata da chiesa and the formula does not necessarily mean Corelli envisaged them for ecclesiastical surroundings.

Corelli's dedication of Op 1 (1681) to his patron, the exiled Queen Christina of Sweden, calls these sonatas 'the first fruits of my study'. They are invested with an exquisite sense of harmonic balance by violinists Pavlo Beznosiuk and Caroline Balding, supported with tasteful delicacy by Richard Tunnicliffe (cello), Paula Chateauneuf (archlute) and Roger Hamilton (organ). The Avison Ensemble excel at the madrigalian counterpoint, perfect proportions and lyrical taste evident in the slow introductions to No 3 and No 12, whereas the Vivace first movement of the fourth sonata is elegantly alert. …

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