Composers: Carbonelli
Compositions: Sonate da Camera Nos 7-12
Performers: Bojan Čičić, The Illyria Consort
Catalogue Number: Delphian DCD34214

This is Bojan Cˇicˇic´’s second disc of music by 18th-century violinist Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli. The bad news is that with this release, he’s now recorded the complete Carbonelli – after these sonate da camera, there’s no more left! The good news is that, like Cˇicˇic´’s earlier album, this is an excellent recording, particularly if you enjoy the music of Corelli or Vivaldi.

Speaking of Vivaldi, this CD opens with his Concerto in B Flat RV 366, ‘Il Carbonelli’, so named since Carbonelli is presumed to have first performed it. It’s a lovely piece, and pairs rather nicely with Carbonelli’s own music. The Sonatas here are remarkably varied – Carbonelli clearly had a talent for toying with textures. Sonata No 7, for instance, opens with long improvised-sounding lines from Cˇicˇic´’s violin over a cloud of harmonies from the Illyria Consort, whereas the following Sonata No 8 has a wonderfully rustic bagpipe-like drone throughout. Most enjoyable of all is perhaps the concluding Sonata No 12, which brings the whole set to a close with a flamboyant (and surprisingly lengthy) set of variations.

Cˇicˇic´ is a fine soloist, with a pure tone that reminded me on more than one occasion of a viol rather than a violin. Credit must also go to Delphian’s engineers, as the sound when listening on headphones is top-notch. It’s a tremendous pity that there’s not more of Carbonelli’s music, but at least he’s being well represented by Cˇicˇic´ and the Illyria Consort. A must-have.