These dozen sonatas fully constitute one-sixth of Corelli's published output and strongly influenced the form of the violin sonata in the early decades of the eighteenth century. The collection is in many ways a condensation of Corelli's four earlier volumes of trio sonatas...
"Ensemble 415 is a chamber ensemble devoted largely to the performance of Baroque music on period instruments. The numerical reference in the group's name derives from the pitch used for tuning instruments in the Baroque era. In performing chamber music, Ensemble 415 consists of just a few players, but for larger compositions, the number expands to a minimum of 13 and can reach up to as high as 40 performers. The ensemble's repertory has been broad over the years, taking in many Baroque standards by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, as well as lesser known fare by Muffat and others…"
Born in Brescia around 1571, Giovanni Battista Fontana lived in Venice, Rome and Padua, where he died during the plague of 1630. His music surprises by the mastery of counterpoint, the simplicity and the expression of its slow movements, the complexity of its ornamentation and the elegant vivacity of its short dance sections. Nicknamed 'dal Violino' and described as "one of the most singular virtuosos the age has seen". Fontana has left us an outstanding example of early Baroque instrumental music. On this release, Daniel Cuiller leads the ensemble Stradivaria in a selection of sonatas.
…Both Banchini and Bovi deliver exceptionally refined performances throughout the album. Bovi's voice is pure, elegant, and perfectly suited for music of this time. Banchini's tone on the Baroque violin is, appropriately, every bit as vocal and singing as the soprano arias. Taken all together, this album is much more than an ordinary CD that is popped in the player and listened to from beginning to end, but rather, an all-encompassing experience that truly transports listeners to another place and time. Unconditionally recommended.
This disc in the Avison Ensemble’s project to record the complete Corelli chamber music is devoted to his Op. 5 collection of violin sonatas – works that swept Europe by storm when they were first published in 1700. Recent recordings include Accademia Bizantina, Purcell Quartet, Trio Corelli, Trio Sonnerie, and a particularly charismatic version from Andrew Manze with harpsichordist Richard Egarr. One of the most immediate differences between these versions is their approach to the continuo, the Avison Ensemble favouring the varied timbres and textures of an ensemble (variously harpsichord or organ, archlute, Baroque guitar and cello) rather than solo harpsichord.
Charles Avison named Caldara along with Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and George Frideric Handel as the composers …
"… whose works have been thoroughly proved and have stood the never failing test of time." Charles Burney wrote in his famous History of Music "Caldara was one of the greatest professors both for the Church and the stage that Italy can boast" and "there is no composer of oratorios anterior to Handel of whose choruses I have any great expectations, except Caldara."