ARCANGELO CORELLI: Concerti grossi Op. 6; Sonata a Quattro in G minor; Fuga a Quarttro Voci – The Chamber Orchestra of The New Dutch Academy/Simon Murphy – PentaTone SACD

by | Jun 9, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments


ARCANGELO CORELLI: Concerti grossi Op. 6; Sonata a Quattro in G minor;
Fuga a Quarttro  Voci – The Chamber Orchestra of The New Dutch
Academy/Simon Murphy – PentaTone multichannel SACD PTC 5186 031, 63:25
****:

These recordings were made during the Holland Festival in Utrecht in
2003. The occasion was a celebration of 300 years of Corelli,
highlighting the esteem in which he was held in the 18th century. 
The recording project was devoted both to some of his best-known works,
such as the Op. 6, as well as less well-known works. Corelli’s musical
style leans toward the extroverted statement and grand gestures.
Ornamentation, as with most music of the period, is an important part
of his music. An interesting short essay in the note booklet discusses
the importance of improvisation in the performance of the ornamention –
likening it to jazz improvisation today. Corelli’s basso continuo
accompaniment is even closer to jazz, since the written out part is
usually only a few bass notes with chord symbols – like jazz charts.
Corelli liked his continuo large, and as many as a dozen players are
involved in different groupings in various of the concerti, providing
what the notes describe as “plenty of bass and groove.”  Dig it,
man.

Corelli’s earlier Sonata a Quattro is inserted between the first and
second concertos of Op. 6, and his short Fuga a Quattro closes the
program, following on the heels of perhaps the composer’s best-known
work, his “Christmas Concerto.”  The playing is enthusiastically
spirited but not as roughly forceful as, say, Il Gardino Armonico. The
New Dutch Academy plays authentic instruments of the period, yet there
is not a hint of the steely and harsh string sound such early music
recordings  frequently display on standard 44.1 CDs. More than one
acquaintance has stated that they can’t stand original instrument
ensemble recordings; I’d like to play this exceptional SACD for them
and see if they come around.
 

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