Avison Ensemble

Arcangelo Corelli: Opus 1 & 3 - Church Sonatas

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AllMusic Review by

Arcangelo Corelli was a pioneer in the church sonata (sonata da chiesa) as in so many other things. These chamber works (often in four movements, slow-fast-slow-fast) were not necessarily performed in churches. They are trio sonatas for two violins and a continuo, here realized by a cello (an unlikely choice for such early music), an archlute, and harpsichord or organ. Britain's Avison Ensemble has a homogeneous, silvery tone that serves the music well, emphasizing its classic qualities and nicely underplaying the virtuoso touches that Corelli wrote into or implied for the violin parts. This release completes a Corelli cycle by the group, thus ending with the composer's earlier music. Probably the later works are preferable for those wanting just one release in the series; the Op. 1 set here, although extraordinarily influential, lacks really memorable tunes, and the set as a whole, featuring a sequence of 98 movements just a bit more than a minute long in most cases, may be better appreciated in pieces than as a whole. But listeners won't understand the Baroque trio sonata without hearing these works, and the double album should find a place on many shelves or hard drives (or in cloud spaces) of Baroque music. Linn's sound here, recorded at a church in the Cambridge suburb of Chesterton, evokes the Roman churches where this music, dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, may well have originally been performed.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata da chiesa a tre in F major, Op. 1/1
1 1:18
2 1:32
3 1:31
4 1:44
Sonata da chiesa a tre in E minor, Op. 1/2
5 1:28
6 0:57
7 1:16
8 1:18
Sonata da chiesa a tre in A major, Op. 1/3
9 1:14
10 2:05
11 1:49
12 1:32
Sonata da chiesa a tre in A minor, Op. 1/4
13 0:49
14 1:00
15 1:11
16 0:55
17 1:24
Sonata da chiesa a tre in B flat major, Op. 1/5
18 2:08
19 1:34
20 1:31
21 1:17
Sonata da chiesa a tre in B minor, Op. 1/6
22 1:03
23 2:08
24 1:47
25 1:25
Sonata da chiesa a tre in C major, Op. 1/7
26 1:37
27 1:21
28 1:33
Sonata da chiesa a tre in C minor, Op. 1/8
29 1:28
30 1:37
31 2:16
32 1:22
Sonata da chiesa a tre in G major, Op. 1/9
33 1:24
34 1:22
35 1:51
36 1:27
Sonata da chiesa a tre in G minor, Op. 1/10
37 0:57
38 0:39
39 0:53
40 1:22
41 1:24
Sonata da chiesa a tre in D minor, Op. 1/11
42 1:26
43 1:20
44 1:31
45 1:35
Sonata da chiesa a tre in D major, Op. 1/12
46 1:44
47 1:43
48 1:04
49 1:52

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Sonata da chiesa a tre in F major, Op. 3/1
1 1:33
2 1:22
3 2:04
4 1:22
Sonata da chiesa a tre in D major, Op. 3/2
5 1:44
6 1:02
7 2:05
8 2:07
Sonata da chiesa a tre in B flat major, Op. 3/3
9 1:33
10 0:36
11 2:27
12 1:48
Sonata da chiesa a tre in B minor, Op. 3/4
13 2:12
14 1:18
15 2:12
16 1:17
Sonata da chiesa a tre in D minor, Op. 3/5
17 2:05
18 1:29
19 1:40
20 1:17
Sonata da chiesa a tre in G major, Op. 3/6
21 1:53
22 1:35
23 1:19
24 1:12
Sonata da chiesa a tre in E minor, Op. 3/7
25 1:43
26 0:58
27 2:08
28 1:31
Sonata da chiesa a tre in C major, Op. 3/8
29 1:48
30 1:27
31 1:38
32 1:40
Sonata da chiesa a tre in F minor, Op. 3/9
33 1:42
34 1:03
35 1:55
36 2:02
Sonata da chiesa a tre in A minor, Op. 3/10
37 0:52
38 1:18
39 0:36
40 1:48
Sonata da chiesa a tre in G minor, Op. 3/11
41 1:24
42 1:15
43 1:43
44 1:25
Sonata da chiesa a tre in A major, Op. 3/12
45 2:14
46 1:01
47 0:56
48 1:46
49 1:20
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