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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Corelli in superb sound, 5 Dec 2012
Stephen Midgley (Tarbrax, West Calder, UK) - See all my reviews
There are a number of very fine recordings of Corelli's Opus 6 - and understandably so, for these concerti are among the true masterpieces of baroque instrumental music. My favourite versions thus far have been the set by the English Concert under Trevor Pinnock, and the one from Ensemble 415 directed by Chiara Banchini. But now this present set from the Avison Ensemble, directed by their lead violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk, offers formidable competition.

With a smaller complement of players (sixteen in all) than in those other two recordings, this period-instrument ensemble superbly captures not only the vigour and inventiveness, but also the intimacy and poetry of these works. If you are able to sample a few tracks, you could try the first movement of concerto no. 2, for example, or else the ever-so-Handelian opening andante largo of no. 11. Some of the fast movements are taken very briskly, but the playing is brilliant and precise as well as showing a natural-sounding spontaneity which I found thoroughly involving. The players launch into the fugal allegros with exciting impetus and tension, just as they express the adagios with poise and tenderness. In the dance movements of the 'concerti da camera', nos. 9-12, the rhythms are captured with foot-tapping liveliness, while the 'Christmas' pastorale in no. 8 is most beautifully taken. Concertino and ripieno groups are well contrasted where appropriate; embellishments everywhere are stylish and, again, sound natural and gracefully integrated into the music's flow.

The Avison Ensemble have been distinguishing themselves with some very fine performances and recordings, and this brilliant and stylish Corelli set is certainly another feather in their cap and in that of their director Beznosiuk. It would take a brave reviewer to single out a top recommendation for this music, but I would say that this is at least the equal of the very best, certainly of the ones I have heard. For me, however, it tops them all in one respect, and that is in recorded sound; for Linn's recording captures the silvery quality of the group's period instruments to perfection. So, for those who love to hear Corelli's marvellous works played in authentic style, this recording is as close as I can imagine to being in the same room with one of the finest baroque ensembles around.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Mar 2013
Janis Page (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
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A beautiful disc and wonder why it has taken me so long to find Corelli when I am such a fan of Vivaldi! Really pleased with purchase and very good value.
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Corelli: Opus 6: Concerti Grossi
Corelli: Opus 6: Concerti Grossi by The Avison Ensemble | Pavlo Beznosiuk
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