Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Sonatas Op. V for flute and continuo, Walsh, Londra 1702
In early eighteenth-century London, the recorder continued to boast a great number of supporters. Thus the publisher Walsh did not hesitate to print a new version (somewhat simplified for amateur musicians) of the latest novelty to issue from the pen of the celebrated composer Arcangelo Corelli: his op. 5 which was being enthusiastically played and heard throughout Europe. The church sonata n. 4 has been found in a transcription for recorder together with n. 3, elegantly embellished in the slow movements, copied onto the back of some trio sonatas by Christopher Pez. Might the “eminent master” and author of this second transcription and ornamentation forWalsh in 1707 (who remains unnamed and according to David Lasocki was notimportant enough to name) have been Pez himself? On this recording we have used the Walsh edition except when he has distorted Corelli’s original melodies by removing notes which are weak in the low register or difficult in the high register of the recorder. Consequently, the sonatas have been transposed for recorder while respecting as much as possible Corelli’s melody and harmony. We needn’t forget that these works are masterpieces of their kind. These compositions represent milestones in the identification of instrumental music in Europe. This process began in Italy in the early years of the seventeenth century with Corelli and Vivaldi, continued in Germany with Bach and his sons, and culminated in the Viennese classical school.