Harmonia Podcast #126: Geminiani Transforms Corelli



For me, it’s hard to find period-instrument recording of Arcangelo Corelli‘s music that I don’t like. Yet, I was a little disappointed (even if I didn’t readily show it in the podcast) with the English Concert’s new recording, Mr. Corelli in London.

It wasn’t so much the orchestra, whose performance was decidedly vibrant and energetic (no doubt due to its fine director, Laurence Cummings), but soloist Maurice Steger, who I think missed the mark with the tempi, modern arrangements (of 18th-century arrangements), and overall style. The over-mixing (and possible confusion) of sources didn’t help the situation either.

Overall, I disagree with turning Francesco Geminiani’s brilliant orchestrations of Corelli’s opus 5 violin sonatas into concertos for the recorder (an instrument, by the way, for which neither composer wrote solo music), no matter how brilliant or record-breakingly fast the performance is.

As for Ensemble 415’s recording of the complete Geminiani orchestrations, it’s a definitive performance.

LISTEN: #126—The English Concert and Ensemble 415 perform Geminiani Concertos

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