“On Cyprus a Dream Team is Born”
Norman Lebrecht

Fate blessed the Italian violinist and composer Arcangelo Corelli with talent, modesty, wealthy patrons, faithful disciples and extraordinary riches.

Numerous original sources were consulted prior to the making of this disc during three inspired days of recording in Copenhagen’s Garnisons Kirke. But once the tape was rolling, Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani let the excitement of superlative music making be their only guide, giving free rein to their boundless creativity and virtuosity and embracing the improvisational spirit that this music requires.

So widespread was Corelli’s appeal that copies of his works have been found as far afield as St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Constantinople, and even America (he was known to be a favourite composer of U.S.’s third president, Thomas Jefferson). It can be said without any exaggeration that Corelli was the first world-famous composer. Yet, for all his celebrity, only a handful of works have come down to us, with the Violin Sonatas op. 5 occupying pride of place. The sonatas presented here come from the second half of the op. 5 collection, referred to in the original 1700 publication as “Parte seconda: Preludii, Allemande, Correnti, Sarabande, Gavotte, e Follia.” 

As the title suggests, the music was inspired by dance rhythms and their infectious melodiousness made them popular pieces with performers of all instruments; a couple of them even entered the English dance-tune repertory. The relatively simple nature of these movements provides scope for all sorts of ornamentation and improvisation.