The second half of Corelli's Op. 5 sonatas, this volume of sonatas 7 - 12 primarily contains works in the form of the Sonata ad camera. Anyone the least bit interested in works for the Baroque violin should absolutely have this album (and indeed, the first volume). The sonatas themselves are each true gems. The movements in this volume primarily consist of dance movements often associated with the Baroque suite. Although there is some debate over Corelli's intention to have the typical cello doubling of the harpsichord left hand, the liner notes of this album provide a convincing argument why no cello was intended. Rather, harpsichordist Glen Wilson performs on a double manual instrument and the result is truly breathtaking. The doubling, which takes place in the harpsichord itself, results in incredibly full and rich sonorities in Naxos' recorded sound, making the album almost worthwhile just to hear Wilson's playing. Of course, these are violin sonatas and Wilson's breathtaking performance at the harpsichord is equaled by Baroque violinist Francois Fernandez. His tone and approach to the instrument are not unlike Carmignola; piercing and focused without being too bright, a powerful and in-the-string right arm without being overly aggressive, and splendid choices of ornamentation throughout. The only thing more listeners could ask for is that Corelli had written more sonatas for this gifted duo to perform.
Corelli: Violin Sonatas Review
by Mike D. Brownell