I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Carbonelli: Sonatas for Violin

I recently acquired a new recording by Helene Schmitt of music by Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli. The composer was born at the end of the 17th century, and his style tells you he indeed studied with Corelli. Unlike other Italian late-baroque composers (among them Tartini and Locatelli), Carbonelli was likely heard as an old-fashioned composer. His sonatas retain the warm, simple chord progressions found in Corelli's works, yet go beyond the master's art with (at times) more interesting melodic phrases and atypical jumps in line. This recording is well done, but does suffer a bit. The continuo section is ripe with organ, harpsichord, cello, and plucked bass. Yet, there's a lot of "open, reverberant" noise in the recording, especially evident when everyone stops playing and you can still hear the air being pumped into the organ. It's really not bothersome, and you'll only likely notice it when everyone stops playing, or through playback with headphones. Carbonelli is somewhat like another composer I just reviewed - Gaspard le Roux. They spoke very different languages, but they similar in being "minor" composers, writing in styles aligned with those today we'd term "masters," carving out their own paths. Their music maintains a certain flavor within their tradition, but they carve out new sounds. Sometimes the exploration is very successful, other times, it's simply curious. This recording of Carbonelli sonatas will round-out your collection of mid- and late-baroque Italian violin sonatas. The recording benefits from the warm, full-bodied sound of Schmitt's violin, with her sensitivity to Baroque affect. If you're a fan of Corelli and his violin school, I'd highly recommend this recording.


Le Roux: Pièces de Clavecin