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   Violin Sonatas, Op. 5



Год издания : 2002

Компания звукозаписи : Harmonia mundi

Время звучания : 2:11:10

К-во CD : 2

Код CD : HMU 907298.99

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CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Reconstruction)      

========= from the cover ==========

Forging Links With The Past

Arcangelo Corelli published Opus 5 on 1st January, 1700, his one and only set of violin sonatas, and arguably the finest and most influential ever assembled. Corelli was an assiduous polisher of his compositions; he could probably have issued these sonatas in some form to his already adoring, international public, anytime during the previous fifteen years. But he was also a master of timing. He waited until the wheel of history provided him with a date worthy of his achievement. And whether he intended it or not, this publication was the single most important musical link between the shadowlands of the seventeenth century and the eighteenth's Newtonian Enlightenment. All other baroque sonatas can be defined as being pre- or post-Corelli.

Editions of Opus 5 proliferated with unprecedented speed (some twenty-five of them by 1750), and it was very quickly embraced as the prima materia 'on which all good schools for the violin have-since been founded' (Charles Burney, 1776). So it is somewhat surprising, despite the enormous revival of interest in baroque repertoire, that Opus 5 is not more often performed and taught nowadays. The reason perhaps lies in the contrast between the music's appearance on the page - elegant and perfect, but also (heresy of heresies!) bland and formulaic - and its unparalleled celebrity status in the eighteenth century. The same might be said of its composer. Corelli dressed and behaved soberly, lived modestly and, after an upbringing in and around Bologna, spent the last four of his six decades in Rome as an employee, lodger and friend of some of the Church's most exalted personages. On his death he left a large collection of paintings, mostly by fellow Romans but including one Breughel. He was the 'divine Arc Angelo' (a pun on his Christian name and the Italian word for bow, arco), and his music was 'like the bread of life' (Roger North, c. 1726). It was fitting that this semi-divine, adopted son of Rome, the 'new Orpheus of our time' (Antonio Berardi, 1689), should have been buried in the Pantheon. So much for the hagiography, which was perhaps responsible for posterity's one-sided view of the man, and of his music. Where is the 'conceited fellow half madd' so many eyewitnesses described? 'whose Eyes will sometimes turn as red as Fire; his countenance will be distorted, his eyeballs roll as in an agony, and he gives in so much to what he is doing that he doth not look like the same man' (quoted in Sir John Hawkins' History, 1776). This is the Corelli who could write a bitter and insulting letter to his former colleagues in Bologna who (wrongly) accused him of grammatical errors in his counterpoint. This is the man who ends Opus 5 with the Follia, a piece of 'madness.'

On the printed page of music the angelic Corelli is easy to find, especially if you adopt an eighteenth-century stance and look backwards. There are carefully balanced phrases, well-turned like table legs; the virtuosity is urbane, though never energetic enough to threaten the equilibrium of the wig; and there are even hummable melodies, a most charming and welcome innovation. In fact the whole effect can sound somewhat like proto-Telemann. Where is the archdevil in all this? The answer is: behind, before, above, between, below the notes, as in all seventeenth-century music - but only if you look for it. The present recording prefers to evoke the late seventeenth century by adopting a free, fantasia-like approach to the text with freshly improvised ornaments and cadenzas.

The text of Opus 5 is one of the most accessible and problem-free a musician is ever likely to encounter. The first edition was note perfect. (A facsimile of it was used for the present recording.) However, in 1710 a new edition was published by Estienne Roger in Amsterdam with the addition of copious ornaments in twelve of the slow movements, just as Corelli himself played them, so it was claimed. Whether the embellishments are genuinely by Corelli cannot be answered, although the weight of evidence supports the claim, and for the purposes of this discussion, so do I. (In passing it is worth noting that by issuing a second edition, Corelli at a stroke rendered the modern notion of an Urtext obsolete, just as performers do the moment bow or quill touches string.) It is a fair question: if Corelli did write the Roger ornaments, why on earth are they not used in this recording? The answer is that Corelli himself (having got over the shock of musicians still playing his music in the twenty-first century) would find it strange for any professional slavishly to mimic another's ornaments, even those of the composer himself. Many sets of embellishments for these sonatas survive, some of them by players who knew or studied with Corelli. One such is Geminiani, whose version of Op.5 no.9 (which can be heard on hmu 907261.62) goes far beyond ornamentation, into the realm of paraphrase. Performers who restrict themselves to 'reheating' (the word rifriggitori is Veracini's) the Roger ornaments, or other historical examples, are in danger of incarcerating the living music behind the glass of a museum display case. The vast majority of ornaments were extemporized and therefore irrevocably lost to the ether. The minute number which survive on paper were notated for one or more reasons: as an aide-memoire for the player; as teaching material; to help out players incapable of improvising their own; to preserve a style which was in danger of being lost. The modern performer has enough material from the sources and from intuition/instinct to go it alone. To reheat is to go directly against the spirit of improvisation, and therefore to go diametrically against the practices of the time. It removes a fundamental ingredient which made the music and its performers so famous: invention. It is in this implicit invitation to improvise, and therefore to treat the page as a point of departure for a personal odyssey rather than the eventual goal, that Corelli's seventeenth-century, stylus phantasticus legacy lies.

Such a liberated approach also ensures each performance's uniqueness, from day to day and from sonata to sonata. The ornaments themselves are like the shrubbery protruding from the cracks in the ancient masonry of a Piranesi etching, or like those tiny human figures clambering over the detritus in the foreground. They are, strictly speaking, unnecessary, but somehow irrepressible and vital, giving the scene as a whole a sense of human scale. In improvising genuinely spontaneous cadenzas and embellishments on this recording (while trying to avoid what our producer tactfully called 'emblemishments'), Richard Egarr and I aim to do as Corelli expected. That is not to say he would necessarily approve of what we do; but he would approve of the fact that we do what we do. It is well to remember that not everyone liked even Corelli's own tampering: 'Upon the bare view of the print any one would wonder how so much vermin could creep into the works of such a master' (Roger North, 1728). One man's vermin is another's prize gerbil.

The first six Opus 5 sonatas are of the da chiesa type, church sonatas. This modern term of convenience refers to the fact that they have fugal second movements and refrain from naming any dance forms, rather than an intended venue. The short fugue subjects are particularly cunning in that they double as melodies and as bass lines. They are always stated by the violin, answered by a trompe I'ceil second violin, and several entries later, the same melody provides the perfect bass line for a cadence. This simple technique was quite conventional for the time, but Corelli carries it off particularly well, giving a sense of completeness to the fugue; sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper. He was also expert at another common technique: relating the themes from movement to movement, and even between sonatas. No.6 provides some good examples. Compare the violin's opening triad with that of the fourth movement Grave: the notes are in the same figuration and range, and yet the key, and therefore the atmosphere, are completely different. In bar 8 of the first movement Corelli innocently introduces a lyrical melody which will serve as the second movement's opening theme. That Allegro as a whole is then transformed into a gigue-like fugue in the finale. Harder to detect but no less present, the second movement's fugue theme uses the shape of the fugue theme of Sonata no. 1 and the rhythm of no.2's, and for good measure no.3's fugue peeps in as a cadential bass line.

Sonatas nos.7-11 are of the da camera (chamber) type, comprising preludes and named dances. Even being told a dance's name does not, however, answer all the performers' questions: the six gigue-types (in nos.7-10, plus the finales of nos.3 and 5 which are gigues in all but name) all require subtly different tempi, stresses and moods. As so often in baroque music, when the composer writes a title such as Giga, he seems to be offering information rather than instruction.

Opus 5 ends with twenty-four variations on the simple harmonic sequence, said to have originated in the Iberian peninsula: Follia. Many sets of variations in general, and of the Follia in particular, survive on paper, although one suspects that far more were improvised than were ever written down. One violinist contemporary of Corelli who studied in Rome, Michel Farinel (1649-c. 1700), introduced the Follia to England (where it was known as 'Farinel's Ground'). Perhaps it was part of a Roman violinist's everyday repertoire, in which case Corelli's notated version in Opus 5 was perhaps didactic in intent. He certainly provides an A-to-Z of violin technique circa 1700, including variations dedicated to arpeggios, consecutive thirds, running sixteenths and the indispensable messa di voce, the long, sustained bow stroke which was considered to be the key to good violin playing. Alongside these techniques, Corelli also leaves plenty of room for the performers' personal follies.

It is now increasingly accepted that when Corelli called these pieces 'sonatas for violin and cello or harpsichord,' he really did mean 'or' rather than 'and.' As in previous recordings of Pandolfi and Handel, Richard and I 'restrict' ourselves to just two instruments (without any acoustical enhancement) so that we are forced to explore the possibilities and colours of the instruments, as well as the nuances of the music and the nooks and crannies of our imaginations. There has been a recent trend in the world of historical performance practice to use increasingly larger basso continuo groups, involving cello, theorbo, guitar, harp, organ, lirone, etc. The larger this menagerie, the more its members must compromise individuality in the interests of unanimity. Having only two minds at work - one on treble, one on bass - frees both from any harmonic or rhythmic shackles, whilst preserving the purity of Corelli's two-part writing. Let those listeners who are missing the colour of more instruments ask themselves whether Piranesi's etchings lack anything by way of nuance, atmosphere and colour for being in a monochromatic medium.

A final question: if Corelli was part angel, part devil, why is it not more clearly visible on the page? I believe that Corelli's lengthy process of refinement before he published these sonatas was not to weed out any harmonic errors or structural infelicities, but in order to eliminate the composer's presence as arbiter. He set his sonatas loose so that the performers could adopt whatever persona they liked, and a different one every day if they wished. The composer has done his (essential) job: the onus is now on the performer. Perhaps more than any other baroque repertoire, Corelli's sonatas force us to hammer out our musicological tools in advance. This essay attempts to explain the thought processes involved on this occasion. Its title is deliberately ambiguous: the verb 'forge' is an appropriately double-edged metaphor for today's historically informed performances.

-Andrew Manze

Andrew Manze is "among the most exciting of early music's young blades" (The Independent), and has been referred to as "a violinist with extraordinary flair and improvisatory freedom, the Grappelli of the baroque," "a young Turk" and even "a gypsy" (BBC Music Magazine).

As soloist, orchestral director (notably of The Academy of Ancient Music), and chamber musician, he performs repertoire from 1610 to 1830. He is also a conductor, writer, and broadcaster who covers many aspects of the early music world.

While reading Classics at Cambridge in 1984, he met and began his musical collaboration with harpsichordist Richard Egarr. After studies at the Royal Academies of London and The Hague, he became Concert Master of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra; in 1996, he was appointed Associate Director and Concert Master of The Academy of Ancient Music. He has collaborated in many chamber concerts and recordings, notably with the ensemble Romanesca (with John Toll and Nigel North). He is also often heard on the BBC, presenting and performing programmes, and serves as a tutor and director of the European Community Baroque Orchestra, a training initiative of the European Union. He is a regular guest at international master classes and is a visiting professor of baroque violin at the Royal College of Music, London. Andrew Manze records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa. His most recent releases include the Bach Harpsichord Concertos with Richard Egarr and the Geminiani Concerti Grossi, both with The Academy of Ancient Music (Premio Internazionale del Disco Antonio Vivaldi, 2000); Bach Violin Sonatas, with Richard Egarr and Jaap ter Linden; and the complete Violin Sonatas by Pandolfi (Gramophone Award, 2000) and by Handel, both with Richard Egarr (seepp. 32-34).

Richard Egarr has worked with ail types of keyboards in the world of early music, performing repertoire ranging from fifteenth-century organ intabulations with The New London Consort, to Mendelssohn and Schumann on an 1840 Rosenberger piano, to twentieth-century works on modern piano. He was harpsichordist with London Baroque from 1991 to 1995, and is now director of The Academy of the Begijnhof, Amsterdam, music director of The Hanover Band, and is in great demand both as soloist and as accompanist for many of today's finest artists.

As a conductor, Egarr has directed operas and oratorios including the St. Matthew Passion in King's College, Cambridge, for the 1985 Bach Year Celebrations. In 1988, with his London Choir "Bel Canto," he performed John Tavener's Ikon of Light in Dartington at the composer's request. In 1998, he conducted an extraordinary production of a Baroque Circus with the troupe Rasposo for the Festival Ile-de-France and the Paris Conservatoire. Performances with The Academy of the Begijnhof continue to flourish and grow. Recent releases on harmonia mundi usa include 3 recordings of music by J.S. Bach - the Harpsichord Concertos with Andrew Manze and The Academy of Ancient Music, the Gamba Sonatas with Jaap ter Linden, and the Violin Sonatas with Andrew Manze and Jaap ter Linden. His discography also includes the Violin Sonatas of J.F. Rebel, Pandolfi (Gramophone Award, 2000), and Handel with Andrew Manze (seepp. 32-34).


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   1 01 1. Grave, Allegro, Adagio, Grave, Allegro, Adagio         0:03:24 Sonata I In D Major
   1 02 2. Allegro         0:02:58 -"-
   1 03 3. Allegro         0:01:01 -"-
   1 04 4. Adagio         0:03:05 -"-
   1 05 5. Allegro         0:01:43 -"-
   1 06 1. Grave         0:02:51 Sonata II In B-flat Major
   1 07 2. Allegro         0:02:20 -"-
   1 08 3. Vivace         0:01:22 -"-
   1 09 4. Adagio         0:02:24 -"-
   1 10 5. Vivace         0:01:21 -"-
   1 11 1. Adagio         0:02:53 Sonata III In C Major
   1 12 2. Allegro         0:02:29 -"-
   1 13 3. Adagio         0:03:08 -"-
   1 14 4. Allegro         0:00:59 -"-
   1 15 5. Allegro         0:02:25 -"-
   1 16 1. Adagio         0:02:13 Sonata IV In F Major
   1 17 2. Allegro         0:02:29 -"-
   1 18 3. Vivace         0:01:12 -"-
   1 19 4. Adagio         0:02:36 -"-
   1 20 5. Allegro         0:02:20 -"-
   1 21 1. Adagio         0:02:55 Sonata V In G Minor
   1 22 2. Vivace         0:02:00 -"-
   1 23 3. Adagio         0:02:28 -"-
   1 24 4. Vivace         0:01:42 -"-
   1 25 5. Giga (Allegro)         0:02:00 -"-
   1 26 1.Grave         0:03:14 Sonata VI In A Major
   1 27 2. Allegro         0:02:16 -"-
   1 28 3. Allegro         0:00:59 -"-
   1 29 4. Adagio         0:02:27 -"-
   1 30 5. Allegro         0:02:04 -"-
   2 01 I Preludio Vivace         0:02:15 Sonata VII In D Minor
   2 02 II Corrente Allegro         0:02:50 -"-
   2 03 III Sarabanda Largo         0:01:57 -"-
   2 04 IV Giga Allegro         0:02:05 -"-
   2 05 I Preludio Largo         0:04:04 Sonata VIII In E Minor
   2 06 II Allemanda Allegro         0:02:16 -"-
   2 07 III Sarabanda Largo         0:03:06 -"-
   2 08 IV Giga Allegro         0:02:29 -"-
   2 09 I Preludio Largo         0:05:02 Sonata IX In A Major
   2 10 II Giga Allegro         0:02:48 -"-
   2 11 III Adagio         0:00:48 -"-
   2 12 IV Tempo Di Gavotta Allegro         0:02:46 -"-
   2 13 I Preludio Adagio         0:02:22 Sonata X In F Major
   2 14 II Allemanda Allegro         0:02:25 -"-
   2 15 III Sarabanda Largo         0:02:47 -"-
   2 16 IV Gavota Allegro         0:00:43 -"-
   2 17 V Giga Allegro         0:02:18 -"-
   2 18 I Preludio Adagio         0:02:19 Sonata XI In E Major
   2 19 II Allegro         0:02:45 -"-
   2 20 III Adagio         0:00:47 -"-
   2 21 IV Vivace         0:02:08 -"-
   2 22 V Gavotta Allegro         0:00:42 -"-
   2 23 Adagio-Allegro-Adagio-Vivace-Allegro-Andante-Allegro-Adagio-Allegro         0:12:12 Sonata XII In D Minor, "Follia"

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