Harmonia Early Music

Corelli’s Op. 5 on the Harmonia Mundi Label

Four recordings of Arcangelo Corelli's famous violin sonatas on the Harmonia Mundi record label.

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Photo: Bernard Gordillo

A detail from the frontispiece to Arcangelo Corelli's "Sonate a violino e violone o cembalo," op. 5 (Rome, 1700).

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

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.

Music Heard On This Episode

Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata in A major, no. 9, IV.Tempo di Gavotta
Andrew Manze, violin, and Richard Egarr, harpsichord — Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (complete) (Harmonia Mundi , 2003)
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Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata in A major, no. 9, IV.Tempo di Gavotta
Andrew Manze, violin, and Richard Egarr, harpsichord — Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (complete) (Harmonia Mundi , 2003)
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Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata in A major, no. 6, I.Grave
Andrew Manze, violin, and Richard Egarr, harpsichord — Violin Sonatas, Op. 5 (complete) (Harmonia Mundi , 2003)
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Giovanni Benedetto Platti: Concerto Grosso in F major, no. 4, V.Gavotta and II.Allegro
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin/Georg Kallweit — Concerti Grossi after Corelli (Harmonia Mundi , 2008)
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Francesco Geminiani: Concerto #9 in A major, IV.Tempo di Gavotta
Academy of Ancient Music/Andrew Manze — Concerti Grossi (after Corelli op. 5) (Harmonia Mundi , 2000)
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Francesco Geminiani: Concerto #11 in E major, IV. Vivace and V.Gavotta
Academy of Ancient Music/Andrew Manze — Concerti Grossi (after Corelli op. 5) (Harmonia Mundi , 2000)
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Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata in C major, II.Allegro
Chiara Banchini, violin, Käthi Gohl, cello, Luciano Contini, archlute, and Jesper Christensen, harpsichord — Sonate a violino e violone o cimbalo, op. 5 (Harmonia Mundi , 1989)
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Arcangelo Corelli: Sonata in F major, V.Allegro
Chiara Banchini, violin, Käthi Gohl, cello, Luciano Contini, archlute, and Jesper Christensen, harpsichord — Sonate a violino e violone o cimbalo, op. 5 (Harmonia Mundi , 1989)
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Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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