Fresh Corelli – the Assisi Sonatas

Arcangelo Corelli is a well-known composer, but only for a fraction of his output. Like many Baroque composers, the bulk of his music was never published. In Corelli’s case, only the 72 sonatas made it to publication, and his reputation rests on those 72 works.

This new collection brings an additional 12 works to light, the “Assisi” violin sonatas. Named after the monastary where the manuscripts were stored, these works show Corelli in a somewhat different light.

Unlike his published works, these are all single movement sonatas, straight-forward and to the point. And they’re somewhat lighter in character. collectively, the sonatas seem to have an airy, relaxed feeling to them, especially as performed on this album.

Part of that lightness comes from the texture — the works are performed with only violin, cello, and harpsichord. Violinist Enrico Gatti lets his bow dance lightly over the strings in the fast  sections, and sensuously draw out the melodies in the slow. The recorded sound is clean and clear, with a nice ensemble blend.

Whether you’re familiar with Corelli or not, this release provides plenty of attractive music to enjoy.

Arcangelo Corelli: The “Assisi” Sonatas
Ensemble Aurora; Enrico Gatti, violin
Glossa Music GCD921209

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