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Performing Corelli's Violin Sonatas, op.

5
Author(s): Peter Walls
Source: Early Music, Vol. 24, No. 1, Music in Purcell's London II (Feb., 1996), pp. 133-138+141-142
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3128454
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PeterWalls

PerformingCorelli'sViolin Sonatas, op.5

PeterWallsisProfessor
ofMusicat the
Victoria Universityof Wellington.He

playstheBaroqueviolinandis musical
in
directorof twoearlymusicensembles
New Zealand-the BaroquePlayersand
the Tudor Consort.He has written

extensively
hon performance
practice
and
1604-1640 (Oxford,
courtlymasque,

1995).

ithin months of their publication in 1700 Corelli'sSonatea violino e violoneo cimbalohad been acceptedby the musicalworld as
having a special status. No other collection of sonatas for solo instrument was to be so studied and imitated. Corelli'scontemporariessaw
his compositions as having an exemplary character. Roger North
exclaimed that 'the touchstone of fugue is Corelli' (and he found the
slow movements even more satisfying);much later Sir John Hawkins
reported that 'Men remembered, and would refer to passages in
[Corelli'smusic] as to a classic author'.'The influence of this 'nuovo
Orfeo dei nostri giorni', this 'famosissimoprofessoredi violino' upon
performerswas also unparalleled. Roger North (again) observedthat
'diversyoung gentlemen [travelled]into Italy,and afterhavinglearntof
the best violin masters,particularlyCorelli, returnedwith flourishing
hands;and for their delicatecontour of gracesin the slow parts,and the
'stoccata,and spirit in other kinds of movements, they were admired
and imitated'.3The op.5 sonatasin particularcame to be regardedas the
hallmarkof a performer'smusicianshipand skill. In the earlyyears of
the 18th century to announce that a concert would include 'one of
Corelli'sSolo'sby an extraordinaryHand' (or some such phrase)seems
to have been a sure-fireway of attractingan audience.4Tartini'sadvice
to MaddalenaLombardinito practisean op.5 Allegrodaily is evidence
of the way these works remainedat the head of the violinist'scanon.5
But violinists could not keep these sonatas to themselves. Hard on
the heels of the original Roman edition, arrangementswere published
for recorder('with the approbationof severaleminent masters'),harpsichord and viola da gamba.6(Op.5 was, however,sparedthe indignity
suffered by other Corelli works of appearing in vocal arrangements
with such titles as Moggyand Jennyand Oh the dismallfate of Fanny.)7
Non-violinists made their own manuscript arrangementsor adapted
standardeditions of op.5 for their own ends-the owner of the Turnbull Librarycopy of the Walsh1711edition sketchedin how to avoid the
violinistic leaps in the Allemandaof Sonatano.8 (see illus.1).
These sonatas (unlike so much Baroque repertory) never completely
disappeared from sight; but among period-instrument performers of
the past two decades they have regained their original status as conrerstones of violinists' development-something
to be mastered on the

way to the Bach unaccompaniedsonatas and partitas.The explosion


of editions of Corelli'sop.5 in the 18thcentury is matched in our time
by the extraordinarynumber of recordings.The roll-call of Baroque
EARLY MUSIC

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133

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Sonatano.8fromCorelli,XIISonatas[op.51(London,
s.d.) (Wellington,NZ, AlexanderTurnbull Library,
SpecialPrintedCollections)
1

violinists who have released at least some of these


sonatas includes SigiswaldKuijken,Lucy van Dael,
ChiaraBanchini,Monica Huggett,CatherineMackintosh and ElizabethWallfisch.These recordingsespeciallythe complete op.5 sets-invite a case study
in performancepractice.8
But it has not been violinists only who have been
drawn to these seminal works. There are currently
availableCDs featuring arrangementsfor trumpet,
recorder and viola da gamba-not to mention the
countless sets of variations on La Folia which proclaim it to be a theme of Corelli's.Recorderplayers
are especially well represented in the catalogues.
Brtiggen,who has made variousrecordingsover the
years of sonatas from op.5, has a CD of part 2 (the
Sonate da camera). (In his liner note he points out
that he has not shied away from leaps of the kind
which troubledthe owner of the copy reproducedin
illus.i.)9 Like Briiggen, Conrad Steinmann makes
use in his (various)recordingsof sonatasfrom part1
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of the 'proper graces by an eminent Master' for


Sonata no.4, which appeared in the Walsh/Hare
publication A Second Collectionof Sonatasfor two
Flutes and a Bass (London, 1707-the edition now
known as 'Pez anonymous'). A PurcellQuartetdisc
includes-alongside Sonata no.3 from Catherine
Mackintoshand the Folia variationsfrom Elizabeth
Wallfisch-a splendid performance from Richard
Boothby of the viola da gamba transcription of
Sonatano.ii.
Leaving aside those performances which show
little historical awareness (or worse, spurn it),
Corelli recordingspresent a fascinatingrange of solutions to the questions every performermust confront. The title of the op.5 collection-Sonate a violino e violono cimbalo-poses a few to begin with. In
practice,of course, convenience and realism dictate
that performers choose what in computerese is
known as the default option.'0This is most obvious
with the choice of instrumentsthemselves.Without
unlimited resources,violinists can scarcelyget too
scrupulousabout exactlywhat kind of violin Corelli
would have most favoured(though Kuijken'sbeautiful 1700 Grancinomust come pretty close to being
the dreaminstrumentfor these works). It is difficult
to comment directly on bows since none of the recordings gives specifications.One of the ironies of
the modern scrupulousness about documenting
what instruments have been used on historicalinstrument recordings is that bows continue to be
treated as apparentlyless important accessories.Yet
they have a much more directimpact on articulation
and phrasing than the violins whose pedigrees are
listed. The reasons for this situation are obvious:
makerscannot be named since, until very late in the
18th century, they did not identify their own work,
and we have not managedto developa standardway
of describing(or even of dating with any precision)
the many differentkinds of pre-Tourtebow. These
difficultiesmean that, for the record buyer, historical attitudesto bows as replaceableaccessoriestend
implicitlyto be reinforced.
The allocation of the bass line to 'violone o cimbalo' ('a Bass Violin or Harpsichord' as the 1711
Walsh edition has it) poses more interestingquestions. Violone is used in the 17th-centuryItalian
sense as the bass member of the violin family; the

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very activebass line in movements like the Fugue of


Sonatano.4, the first Allegroof Sonatano.11,or the
final section of the Folia variationsmake it reasonable, nevertheless,to treatviolonehere as a synonym
for violoncello-the smaller and more mobile version of the instrument.1Indeed, Corelli's associate
G. L. Lulier was known both as 'Giovannino del
Violone' and 'Giovannino del Violoncello'.12It is
neverthelessinterestingthat every availablerecording lists 'violoncello' (or 'Baroque cello') without
comment. The cimbalois potentially the most distinctive of the instruments-the characteristically
tangy sound of an Italianharpsichordcannot easily
be mistaken for one of its northern cousins. Both
Mitzi Meyerson(for some of the sonatas)and Jesper
Christensenuse Italian-styleharpsichords,in the latter case one which the playerhimself copied from an
anonymous late 17th-centuryinstrument. On the
whole, though, the instruments chosen (many of
them very fine in themselves)do not projecta strong
concern with servinga particularrepertory.(Robert
Kohnen, for example, plays a 1755Dulcken on the
Kuijkenrecording.)
The most challenging word in the op.5 title,
however, is 'o'. Generations of musicians have assumed-and (less often) argued-that it should be
understood as meaning 'and/or'.'3 Increasingly,
however, scholarshave been troubled by the lack of
either linguistic support or hard historicalevidence
for such an interpretation.TharaldBorgir, Sandra
Mangsen and Peter Allsop are in agreement about
the inappropriatenessof applyinga practicerecommended half a centurylaterby C. P. E. Bachto 17thcentury Italian repertory.14While the picture is far
from clear, particularlyin relation to solo sonatas
from the very end of the century,there is nevertheless more evidence for taking Corelli'stitle-pageliterallythan for the conventionalkeyboard-plus-cello
solution.
Some recordingsdo at least explore the idea of a
single-instrument bass line. Banchini and Christensen performSonatano.2 with harpsichordalone.
Trio Sonnerie likewise use harpsichord in Sonata
no.8, and they follow this with solo cello on the bass
line of Sonatano.9. (Here there are a few intonation
problems-untypical of this set as a whole-which
illustratethe extent to which the harmonic realiza-

tion helps cement the tuning of the outer lines.)


While it is positively liberating for performers to
realize that bass lines do not necessarily imply at
least two players,it is hard at present to conceive of
recordingall 12 sonatas with the accompanimentof
just harpsichordor cello. Such a projectmight seem
to depend on a mixtureof pedantryand commercial
folly. Recently,performersand ('o'!) recordingcompanies have been tending towardsthe other extreme
of virtualpromiscuityin their realizationof the bass
line.
The earliest period-instrument versionsKuijken'sand Lucyvan Dael's (the latter marredby
wayward intonation)-use cello plus harpsichord
throughout.Forthe six sonatasof part1 the Locatelli
Trio use cello and chamber organ, a combination
which for these sonate da chiesaseems both appropriate and pleasing.It is interestingto comparethis
with the more varied choices on other complete recordings. The Banchini/Christensen/Gohlversions
of Sonatasnos.1and 6 use harpsichord,archluteand
cello (and in Sonatano.3 harpsichordand archlute).
The aim seems to be for a kaleidoscopic effectthough personallyI did not alwaysenjoy the competing claims of simultaneouslute and harpsichord
realizationsor the heterophonyset up by conflicting
ornaments.Trio Sonnerieon the face of it use a similar instrumentationwith theorbo instead of archlute; but the theorbo (with its re-entranttuning less
capableof providinga full realization)is used to give
better definition to the melodic bass line. Elsewhere
Trio Sonnerie do use an archlute. It appears in
Sonata no.2, where it is treated (quite properly)as a
self-sufficient continuo instrument. Nigel North's
playing is beautifully judged. His sound matches
Monica Huggett'svoluptuous tone and he manages
to give her plenty of space for the improvisatory
gestures of the (decorated) violin line. Frangois
Raguenet in Parallle des Italiens et des
Francois
makesa rather

vague referenceto hearing

(1702)

Corelli, Pasquiniand Gaetaniplay together (though


clearlyin a largerensemble);it would be interesting
to know just how these two distinguishedcontinuo
playersrelatedto each other and to the soloist in performance.
The sonatas of part 2 produce yet more continuo
combinations. Trio Sonnerie add Baroqueguitarto
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135

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TurnbullLibrary)
Zealand,Alexander
2

harpsichordand cello for LaFolia.The guitar'sflamboyant rasgueadohelps turn these variations into
'Folies d'Espagne'.The Accademia Bizantina complete recording indulges in the bizarre practice of
varyingthe continuo instrumentationfor repeatsin
binary movements. The concept of a continuo departmentat work in so many of these performances
seems to have more to do with Aggazzariand the
early17thcenturyor with sumptuous courtlyfestivities like Cesti'sIIpomrno
d'orothan with Corelli'ssolo
violin sonatas.This kind of treatmentmight well increasethe interestand enjoymentto be derivedfrom
listening through complete recordingsof op.5, but
this merely emphasizesthat projectsof this kind are
essentiallydifferent,on the one hand, from the provision of a reliable complete edition and, on the
other, from most historical (or, for that matter,
modern) contexts for live performance.
A relatedbut distinct issue from that of bass line
instrumentationis the kind of realizationsthey receive. It is worth noting in passing that the 1710
136

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Roger and 1711Walsh editions of op.5 give even less


guidancethan most engravedsonatas.In all the Adagios with added gracesthe bass line appearsstripped
of the figureswhich had been engravedin the original edition. While this might inadvertentlyprovide
encouragement for visualizing these movements
with a solo cello, it is I suppose unlikelythat this format has any particularimplications for the performance of the bass line. The simplest explanation
(suggested to me by Neal Zaslaw) is probably that
Roger engravedundecoratedmovements from earlier editions and took the Adagiosfrom a manuscript
lacking figures.Most extant copies of these editions
have had figuresaddedby userswho sometimessimply copied them in from earlier undecorated editions, but who just as often workedthem out as they
went (with subtly different views of the line's harmonic implications-see illus.2-3).
Bass line realizations would hardly need comment-since most of the performerssurveyedhere
provide support for their violinists of a kind which

1996

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seems unerringlytasteful.But there is one wild card


in the pack.JesperChristensen'sapproachto his role
as a harpsichordcontinuo player is arresting-and
he can point to historicaljustificationfor much of
what he does.15His use of saturated chords laden
with acciacatureis, on the face of it, the sort of thing
practisedby Pasquiniand approvedof as a 'full rich
style' by Gasparini.16Christensenprecedesthe third
movement (Adagio)of Sonatano.2 with a short prelude. This sounds fine in itself, but-as the movement continues-the activity in the harpsichord
part reduces the violinist's freedom to be declamatory. This happens time and time again, where
Christensenadopts a more active rhythm than the
bass line prescribes.
Christensenis the only harpsichordiston the recordings surveyedto double the violin line where it
precedes the entry of the bass in fugal movements.
Once againthere is ample historicalevidencefor the
practice.7The effect is not unpleasingwhere it gives
a cleanlyetched characterto the fugue subject.What
is harderto accept is Christensen'sextension of this
to solo violin entries in adagio movements (the
opening of Sonata no.2, the third movement of
Sonata no.3, and the fourth movement of Sonata
no.6). What he plays is the plain Corelli original
againstthe gracedversion contributedby the violin.
The result-to my ears anyway-is that the harpsichord succeedsonly in subvertingthe improvisatory
sense of the solo part. In the second of the examples
just mentioned, Luciano Contini (playing archlute)
incorporates the Roger graces where the bass line
imitates the violin's entry. On the face of it, these
musicians display more awareness of Baroque
sources than their colleagues in other ensembles-yet so much of what they do seems too obtrusiveand
succeedsin hemming in the violin.
Having room to move is, of course, vital in slow
movements where melodic lines are given life by
florid improvisatory ornamentation. And this, of
course, brings us to the most celebratedaspect of
these sonatas. How are we to regardthe gracespurportedly by Corelli published by Estienne Roger in
1710(and piratedby Walsh a short time afterwards)?
Roger'srepeatedassurancesof their authenticityare
the surest indication that many of his contemporarieswere sceptical about the origin of the graces.

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3 Sonata no.9, opening, from Corelli,XII Sonatas [op. 51

TurnbullLibrary)
(Alexander
Roger North voiced his disbelief in a characteristically strong and colourfulway: 'Upon the bare view
of the print any one would wonder how so much
vermin could creep into the works of such a master."' (Can we be sure that any graces would have
satisfiedNorth? Together with CharlesBurney and
other 18th-centurysceptics,he may havebeen driven
by a conviction that Corelli's compositions had
more to do with noble harmony than with melodic
fantasy.)
For all that the musical world may have found it
hard to believe that the Roger graces were indeed
'composezparMr. A. Corellicomme il les joue', performers have-in practice-tended to accept
Roger'sclaims. It is strikingthat alternativesources
for written-out op.5 embellishmentsare more plentiful for the sonatas of part 2 than for the first six
sonatas. (Even the owner of the Turnbull Library's
copy of the Walsh edition made one ill-conceived
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137

attempt at dazzling his friends in the Preludio of


Sonata no.11-see illus.3.) The complete recordings
of op.5 follow a similarpattern:like those who wrote
out embellishments in the 18th century, modern
players have tended to accord the Roger edition
exemplarystatus.(The only exception-and not one
likely to inspire emulation-is Chiarappa on the
AccademiaBizantinacomplete set.) Violinists capable of wonderfullystylisticgracesin Sonatasnos.7-11
accept the Roger edition for Sonatas nos.1-6. In a
way this ought not to work, since all written-out
gracespretendto be a snapshotof a moment's inspiration.The convictionwith which violinistscan simulate improvisation suggests that-for the most
part-spontaneity has alwaysbeen well rehearsed.
Players are sometimes prepared to venture out
beyond the Roger graces,adding furtherembellishments of their own. It is interesting,though, to see
how in passageswhere the Rogerversion all but retreats to the original line, violinists seem generally
reluctantto take up what might have been seen as an
implicitchallenge.At bars8-11of the firstmovement
(Adagio) of Sonata no.3, Banchini, Huggett, Wallfisch and Kuijken leave the violin line essentially
bare. CatherineMackintosh alone continues in the
vein of the surroundingfloridwriting. (Incidentally,
these bars are decorated in the Pez anonymous
print.) An even more striking case comes in bars
34-42 in the third movement of this same sonata,
where virtually all performersleave even the reminiscences of the opening motive (heavily ornamented the firsttwo times it occurs) unadorned,not
daringto move out beyond the suggestionsprovided
by the Rogeredition.
The first Adagio of Sonata no.5 presents special
problems since it-alone among the slow movements in the firstpartof op.5-is binarywith repeatable halves.All violinists reservethe Rogergracesfor
the repeat and play the movement virtuallystraight
the first time through. This pattern is followed
through with the binary movements of part 2. In a
way this establishes a totally different relationship
between the basic line and the gracedversion. With
all the other slow movements of part 1 the implied
argument is that the original line craves embellishment in the act of performingit; the slow movement

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of Sonata no.5, however, presents the line as selfsufficientbut amenableto variationon its repeats.
Given the adherence of most performersto the
Roger gracesin part 1, the inventivenesswith which
they treat the sonatas of part 2 is especiallyinteresting. The complete recordings by Monica Huggett
(Trio Sonnerie) and ElizabethWallfisch (Locatelli
Trio) make a fascinatingcomparison. Both players
are capableof beautifuleloquent embellishment.In
Sonatano.8 Monica Huggettproducesmodest decoration for the repeatsof the first movement (Preludio Largo),where ElizabethWallfischindulges in a
little more virtuosity. In this sonata's third movement (SarabandaLargo), however, it is Wallfisch
who is more restrained,while Huggettturns out virtuoso but tasteful decoration. In this latter movement, the walking bass had encouragedBruiggento
move up the tempo (at J = 88, a good 20 ticks ahead
of Huggettand Wallfisch)and to play the upperline
completely straight.
It is hard to avoid the conclusion that violinists
have been learning from each other over the last
decade or so, becoming more and more fluent in the
art of gracing Corelli. Even Kuijken's version of
Sonata no.ll (the only part 2 sonata apartfrom the
Folia variations on his disc) seems tongue-tied
alongsidethe invention of Wallfischand Huggettand here I am not just referringto the extraordinary
cadentialflourishthe latterviolinist produces in the
brief Adagiobeforethe third movement.
The LocatelliTrio'srecordingof Sonatano.9 is especiallygenerousand informative.They give us two
versionsof the sonata.An appendix,as it were, contains Geminiani'sornamentedversion (publishedin
Hawkins's GeneralHistoryof 1776).Wallfischgives
this a convincing and attractiveperformance.In its
fast movements Geminiani'srendition comes close
to the kind of recompositionwhich characterizesthe
revisions of his own sonatas and concertos. The
gracesfor the opening Prelude are distinctly different in style from those of the Roger edition; many
of Geminiani's decorative gestures are moulded
around a chordalshape where the Rogerembellishments are predominantlylinear. (They come closest
to the chordallybased floridityof Geminiani'sviolin
version of his own op.5 cello sonatas.)The version of
Sonata no.9 which the LocatelliTrio presents in the

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main sequence uses graces for the first movement


from Cambridge, University Library, Add. Ms.
7059-graces which Hans JoachimMarxnoted have
Elizasome similarityto Geminiani'sin approach.19
beth Wallfisch's performance is technically so assured that she manages to make these sound perfectly nonchalant,yet-as with so many other later
sets of decorations for these sonatas-the point of
the Roger embellishmentsseems to have been lost.
Gone are the wonderful asymmetrical flourishes
crossing the beat, and with them the sense of a line
being propelledthrough a harmonicprogressiontowards a resting point at the end of a phrase (the
gracesof the Rogeredition never link phrases).Now
the overlayof appoggiaturas,trills and mordents on
top of florid gestureshas the effectof makingthe line
seem fussy and (especiallyin the first section of the
movement) even static.
In writing this article I have been trying not to
think of it as a reviewso much as a case study in applied performancepractice.But I would not want to
evadethe inevitablequestion:which of these recordings give most pleasure?Of the complete sets, two
can be disregarded:Melkus produces something of
staggeringugliness, while the Accademia Bizantina
give a stilted readingwith a naive understandingof
performancepractice issues and the rathermetallic
sound that can result from trying to make modern
instruments sound 'authentic'. The Trio Sonnerie
and LocatelliTrio sets are an entirelydifferentmatter. They are hardto separate-though each has different virtues. So successfully does each of these
players seem to have assimilatedthe lessons of the
Roger edition that it is, surprisingly,the fast movements which give the strongest impression of distinct personalities.Monica Huggett brings out the
lyricalqualitieseven in fast movements and there is
a warmth of sound both in her own playing and in
the recordedqualityof the ensemblewhich is always
1 RogerNorth on music, ed. J. Wilson
(London, 1959), p.18o; Sir John

Hawkins, A GeneralHistory of the


Scienceand Practiceof Music (London,
1776;R/New York, 1963), i, p.677,
quoted by O. Edwards, 'The response
to Corelli's music in eighteenth-century England', Studia musicologica

pleasurable.She and her companions in Trio Sonnerie are particularlygood at pointing up structural
features-the ABA form of the fast movements in
Sonatano.9, or the dialoguebetween outervoices in
the second movement of Sonatano.11. (Bylsmaplaying with Brtiggenin this movement obviouslyenjoys
his semiquavers--but we are more awareof the virtuosity of the bass line than of a conversation.)Elizabeth Wallfischhas a technical assurancewhich she
uses to very good musical effect. Her tempos in fast
movements areconsistentlya notch or so aboveanyone else's, but they alwayssound rhythmicallyalert
and buoyant-sometimes even amusingly perkyratherthan just fast. Her sound is less generousthan
Huggett's,but one comes to appreciateits brightness
and clarity. I find it hard to choose between these
two violinists in slow movements-both are capable
of realfantasy.
Of the various single discs devoted to these
sonatas,I cannot in the end retainvery much enthusiasm for Brtiggen'ssecondaparte. In comparison
with more recent recordingsit seems to lack fluency
in its treatmentof slow movements.It will alreadybe
obvious that the prima parte of Banchini/Christensen et al holds a great deal of interest-but I do not
find myself listening to it just for pleasure. (Even
Banchini'sStorioniviolin has a disappointinglyhard
quality.) The re-release of Kuijken's selection is
amply justified;like so much else that he has done,
his Corellidisc set a benchmarkfor the performance
of these works, and, although some aspects of his
playing (ways of using vibrato, for example) have
changed subtly since 1982, this comes across as a
beautifullyconsidered account. Of the various miscellanies, the Purcell Quartet's selection is worth
having, if only for its viola da gamba version of
Sonatano.11.
Why not Trio Sonnerie for the home and the
LocatelliTrio for the office?

ii (1976),p.54.
norvegica,
2 Phrasesusedby AngeloBeradi

(1689) and Crescimbeni (1702) respec-

tively;see 'Corelli,Arcangelo',New
Grove.
3 RogerNorthon music,p.31on.
4 Thiswordingwasincludedin an

EARLY

advertisementin TheNottingham
WeeklyCourant,22 December1714;
quotedby Edwards,'Theresponseto
Corelli'smusic',p.77.
5 A LetterfromtheLateSignorTartini
to SignoraMaddalenaLombardini
(London,1771),ed. E. R. Jacobi(Celle
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141

& New York, 1971),p.135.


6 See Six solosfor a flute and a bass by
Arcangelo Corellibeing the secondpart
of hisfifth opera ... the whole exactly
transpos'dand madefitt for aflute and a
bass with the aprobation of severaleminent masters (London: Walsh & Hare,
1702;RISM C 3884). In 1703the same
publishers advertised The 2d part of
Correllisfifth Opera,properfor the
Harpsicord,consistingof preludes,allemonds, sarabands,gavots and jiggs in
The Post Man, 25 September; see
Edwards, 'The response to Corelli's
music', p.71. The viola da gamba
arrangements are found in Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS Vm 7 6308
(available in facsimile from Alamire
Music Publishers). Two of these,
Sonatas nos.6 and 11,were published in
England c.1613;the volume, which lacks
a title-page, is found in London, British
Library,K. 1. i. 11 (2).
7 Both titles given to movements from
op.2 (Sonata no.5, Sarabanda,and
Sonata no.1, Gavotta); see RISM
CC 3894c and 3894d.
8 Trio Sonnerie (Monica Huggett,
Sarah Cunningham and Mitzi Meyerson, joined here by Nigel North),
Virgin Classics CD(2) VCD790840-2;
Locatelli Trio (Elizabeth Wallfisch,
Richard Tunnicliffe and Paul Nicholson), Hyperion CD (2) CDA 66381/2;
Accademia Bizantina (C. Chiarappa et
al), Europa Musica CD(9) 350202;
Eduard Melkus Instrumental Ensemble
(Melkus, Dreyfus, Altmacayan and
Scheidt), Archiv CD(2) 427 161-SAGA.
Chiara Banchini (with J. Christensen,
L. Contini and K. Gohl) has recorded
the sonatas of the prima parte on
Hyperion CDA66226. Lucy van Dael,
Alan Curtis and Wouter M611er
recorded these sonatas in 1982 (but the
recording has never appeared in CD
format). The secondaparte section of
Franz Bruiggen'srecording of the complete set (with Anner Bylsma and Gustav Leonhardt) has been re-released on
RCA CDRD7 1055.The recording by
Sigiswald Kuijken, Wieland Kuijken
and Robert Kohnen of Sonatas nos-., 3,
6, 11and 12 has been re-released on CD,
Accent ACC484330. Other recordings
mentioned in this article (which is by
no means a comprehensive survey) are
Baroque musicfor recorder(Conrad
142

EARLY MUSIC

Steinmann, Jordi Savalland Hopkinson Smith), Claves CD50-8103;Giardino Armonico on Nuova Era CD
6789; Purcell Quartet, 'LaFolia' and
other sonatas (Catherine Macintosh,
Elizabeth Wallfisch, Richard Boothby
and Robert Woolley), Hyperion CDA
66226.
9 See his liner note to RCA CDRD7
1055.
o10An instance of this not happening
can be seen in the Locatelli Trio's decision to record their set a tone below
modern pitch (presumably in deference to the lower pitch prevailing in
Rome in the early 18th century; see
'Pitch', New Grovedictionaryof musical
instruments,iv, p.126).
11 See S. Bonta, 'From violone to violoncello: a question of strings?',Journal
of the AmericanMusical Instrument
Society,iii (1977), pp.64-99, and 'Terminology for the bass violin in seventeenth-century Italy',Journal of the
AmericanMusical InstrumentSociety,iv
(1978), PP.5-43. Peter Allsop points out
that the term was used with sufficient
latitude to encompass the smaller 'violoncello'; see P. Allsop, The Italian
'trio'sonata from its origins until Corelli
(Oxford, 1992), P.36.
See G. S. Brunoro, The life and
worksof Giovanni LorenzoLulier (PhD
diss., Victoria U. of Wellington, 1994),
PP-14,137,354.

14 SeeT. Borgir,Theperformance
of
thebassocontinuoin ItalianBaroque
music(AnnArbor,MI,1987), PP-5-9;
S. Mangsen,'Thetriosonatain preCorellianprints:whendoes3 = 4?',
Performance
practicereview,iii (199o),
pp.138-64;andAllsop,TheItalian'trio'
sonata,pp.39ff.
15 His commentson the use of a large
continuogrouparequotedin n.13
above.
16 See P. Williams,Figuredbassaccompaniment,2 vols. (Edinburgh,1970), i,
P.77.
17 SeeMangsen,'Thetriosonatain
pre-Corellianprints',pp.157f.
18 RogerNorthon music,p.161.
19 H. J.Marx,'Someunknownembellishmentsof Corelli'sviolinsonatas',
lxi (1975), P-74.
Musicalquarterly,

12

13 JesperChristensen, in the liner note


to his recording with Banchini, writes:
'A third most important aspect of the
performance of this music concerns
the instrumentation and realization of
the basso continuo. Whereas the original title page apparently prescribes
only one accompaniment instrument
("Violino e Violone o Cimbalo")-like
most Italian title pages of the period-contemporary descriptions and pictures often show continuo groups consisting of several instruments ...
accompanying just one solo instrument. This paradox probably means
that no real "standard"for the continuo instrumentation existed, which
has inspired us to try out some of the
possible combinations of the three
continuo instruments, thus also satisfying the characteristic Italian taste for
variety of colours.

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1996

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