Corelli - Violin Sonatas Op. 5, Nos. 7-12 / Fernandez, Wilson
I am surprised that this recording has not been previously reviewed on Amazon, as it offers an excellent recording at a great price.
Corelli's opus 5, 1705, was a landmark in music at the time, and set the form for violin sonatas for a century or more. The sonatas were written for violin and cello or harpsichord, but soon cello and harpsichord were employed. The first 6 were written as church sonatas, and the second 6, which we have here, as chamber sonatas. A revised edition of 1710, which is used here, has more ornamentation in the repeats. Geminiani arranged the 12 sonatas as concerti grossi, which could be seen as a highly ornamented version. This is available on Harmonia Mundi with the Academy of Ancient Music under Andrew Manze, well worth a listen.
For some years my "reference" recording of these sonatas has been Monica Huggett with her Sonnerie, she uses one or more of cello, harpsichord/organ and archlute/theorbo/guitar. I found I prefered all three, I liked the somewhat lush accompaniment, and was surprised to enjoy this version with harpsichord alone.
Here Francois Ferdandez plays a Guarneri violin and Glen Wilson a dual manual harpsichord, the pitch used is 400hz, thought to be that used in Rome at that period. They produce a performance of this famous music with great clarity, the spirit of Corelli shines through.
In fact there are only five violin sonatas on this recording, the sixth, no 12 of opus 5, is a set of 22 variations on an old dance tune , Follia or madness, referring to the dancers.
I have no hesitation in recommending this CD, especially at the price available through Amazon.