Manze: Geminiani - Concerti Grossi VII-XII, after Corelli op.5 (APE)
Manze: Geminiani - Concerti Grossi VII-XII, after Corelli op.5 (APE)

Composer: Francesco Geminiani
Performer: Academy of Ancient Music, Alison McGillivray, David Watkins, Richard Egarr
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Size: 364 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Corelli – Sonata for violin & continuo in A major, Op. 5/9
01. I Preludio
02. II. Corrente
03. III. Sarabande
04. IV. Giga

Geminiani – Concerto No. 7 in D minor
05. I. Preludio
06. II. Allemanda
07. III Sarabanda
08. IV. Giga

Geminiani – Concerto No. 8 in E minor
09. I. Preludio
10. II. Giga
11. III. Adagio
12. IV. Tempo Di Gavotta

Geminiani – Concerto No. 9 in A major
13. I. Preludio
14. II. Allemanda
15. III. Sarabanda
16. IV. Gavotta
17. V. Giga

Geminiani – Concerto No. 10 in F major
18. I. Preludio
19. II. Allegro
20. III. Adagio
21. IV. Vivace
22. V. Gavotta

Geminiani – Concerto No. 11 in E major
23. Themes & Variations 1-8
24. Variations 9-14
25. Variations 15-24

Geminiani – Concerto No. 12 in D minor “Follia”
26. I. Andante
27. II. Presto
28. III. Adagio
29. IV. Allegro

Corelli and his interpreters

As the reader may already know, the opus 5 violin sonatas of Corelli were the inspiration for this orchestral interpretation of them by Geminiani. As related by Manze in his album notes, Corelli chose the significant year 1700 to publish opus 5, and according to Manze, this represents a landmark in Italian baroque, for every composer who came after has had to reckon with these sonatas, and somehow find a way to equal (but not surpass) them in invention and creativity. Vivaldi composed his own version of “La Follia” (Sonata XII), arguably better than Corelli’s; but many another of Vivaldi’s sonatas, magnificent though they are, simply do not have the clarity, spirituality, grace, and lyricism of the Corelli opus 5. Geminiani, a student of Corelli, and arguably one of the greatest baroque violinists of his day, crafted these orchestral versions of the opus 5 as a tribute to his master. Manze rightly observes that these concertos are not simply orchestrations of opus 5, but actually extensions of it; they are variations to some extent, creative expansions and magnificent glosses on the originals. New points of emphasis are added, some phrasings are given a different turn, new counterpoint is introduced at various places in the score to enhance the subtle beauty of the originals. If you love the Italian baroque, you will not want to be without this gem. But as others have observed, don’t neglect the original sonatas themselves. Manze has recorded his own inimitable version on Harmonia Mundi, and I strongly recommend it. But there are others as well. Elizabeth Wallfisch on the Hyperion Label has her own recording, slightly more subdued yet also smoother than Manze’s. I strongly recommend that you buy as many versions of the opus 5 as you have the budget for (well, at least three!), starting with these orchestrations by Geminiani. They will teach you to love the originals. Look at them as perhaps a point of entrance into what many consider the greatest violin sonatas ever written.

3 Comments

  1. Sorry Whatever, but there something wrong, perhaps in the cue file. Track order is not correct, and the names of the movement don’t correspond to the music. Do you think that you can fix this?

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