Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr
Arcangelo Corelli was one of the most influential Italian composers of the late-Baroque Era. And his opus five sonatas, a collection for violin and basso continuo, was one of the most widely disseminated pieces of music during the 18th Century. The sonatas were greatly admired, emulated, and, most of all, frequently performed. Over the last two decades, the Harmonia Mundi label has published a number of versions of Corelli’s “op. 5,” including a wonderful and memorable recording with baroque violinist Andrew Manze and harpsichordist Richard Egarr.
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
A new recording of Giovanni Platti’s concertos after Corelli by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin really says something about both Platti and Corelli. Platti was a fine composer and arranger who chose to express his admiration for Corelli by expanding the opus five sonatas into a work for an orchestra of winds and strings. The ‘Akademie’ has chosen to record only a few of Platti’s concerti grossi, but the ones selected are beautiful and imaginative realizations which are given excellent performances.
Academy of Ancient Music
Like Platti’s concertos, Francesco Geminiani paid tribute to his fellow countryman, yet he kept it a bit simpler—Geminiani chose to expand Corelli’s sonatas for an orchestra made up of only strings. The 2000 Harmonia Mundi label recording by the Academy of Ancient Music is terrific. Like much of their discography, the orchestra gives a dynamic performance with Andrew Manze at the helm.
Chiara Banchini’s 1989 recording of the first six Corelli sonatas is a definite classic. Part of the credit is also due to her accompanists, which includes cellist Kathi Gohl, lutenist Luciano Contini, and harpsichordist Jesper Christensen. Their performance is energetic and their approach—highly individual. Theirs is a true benchmark of Corelli interpretation.