We last heard young Paris-based American violinist Augusta McKay Lodge on Naxos in splendid performances of works for unaccompanied Baroque violin by Biber, Locatelli, Pisendel, Matteis and Baltzar. Now she returns in the company of musical friends to shine a light on yet more unfamiliar music of the Baroque, this time violin sonatas by Corelli followers Giovanni Mossi (c.1680-1742) and Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli (1691-1772).

Corelli's Band

Corelli’s Violin Sonata No 3 from his famous Opus 5 set is included for comparison, but it comes only after the world premiere recording of Mossi’s Sonata da Camera in E Minor Op. 6 No 9, and Carbonelli’s Sonata da Camera No 10 in G Minor. A number of other sonate da camera (chamber sonatas) and sonate da chiesa (church sonatas) by Mossi and Carbonelli follow.

Whereas Mossi worked with Corelli in Rome, Carbonelli spent much of his life in London, for many years as leader of the orchestra of the Royal Academy of Music. But Corelli’s elegant, innovative style infuses the music of both.

The church sonatas feature more fugal writing, while the chamber sonatas tend to feature dance forms such as the sarabanda and corrente. There are therefore ample opportunities for McKay Lodge to show off her sonorous multiple-stopping and supple melodic phrasing.

Then there is the improvised ornamentation required of the performer, so integral to the music’s style. McKay Lodge certainly delivers in this department too. Her trills, graces and roulades are almost florid counterparts to the harmonic improvisations of continuo players Adam Cockerham (theorbo and baroque guitar) and Elliot Figg (harpsichord) who likewise embellish the bass lines so gracefully performed by Doug Balliett (violone) and Ezra Seltzer (baroque cello).

Title: Corelli’s Band
Works: Violin sonatas by Corelli, Mossi & Carbonelli
Performers: Augusta McKay Lodge (violin), Doug Balliett (violone), Ezra Seltzer (baroque cello), Adam Cockerham (theorbo/baroque guitar), Elliot Figg (harpsichord)
Label: Naxos 8574239

Don't miss out 200th issue, subscribe today