With these words ("Great virtuoso of the violin, and our contemporary Orpheus"), Francesco Gasparini, writing in his 1708 figured bass tutor, succinctly described Arcangelo Corelli, one of the most revered and influential composers of the entire baroque era.
If Michel Corrette was a little over-enthusiastic in crediting Corelli with the invention of both sonata and concerto form as it was known and understood in the mid-eighteenth century, Roger North had only to judge by the enormous popularity of the Italian master's works in England in the 1720s to deduce that they would be immortal… Monica Huggett…brings a sweetness of tone and a perfection of technical control that cannot but inspire admiration on their own count, but in combination with such unerring musical insight as is to be found here makes these into quite masterly interpretations… The continuo members of Trio Sonnerie are unerringly tasteful in their playing, while Nigel North on theorbo and other plucked instruments is quite stunningly imaginative. North's choice of the baroque guitar and his playing of it in Corelli's Follia Variations is quite inspired.(Tess Knighton)
acques‐Martin Hotteterre was a virtuoso recorder player at the court of Louis XIV the Sun King, in the distinguished position of Musicien de la Chambre du Roi. He was a famous composer as well, mainly for his own instrument, for which he wrote numerous works, in which he integrated Italian elements, such as instrumental brilliance and prevalence for longer melodic lines, in the courtly French style of dance forms and lavish ornamentation.
Dutch-born composer Johannes Schenck is another in a long line of Baroque composers whose works are only now being discovered and given their first modern performances. Thanks to the intrepid investigative work of harpsichordist Pieter Dirksen – a member of the ensemble La Suave Melodia heard here – a set of 12 trio sonatas of Schenck's Opus 3 that were thought to be lost have been unearthed.
This is a delightful, inventive, witty, charming, enchanting, inspiring disc. In the Verbruggen disc, only four of the six sonatas appear together, plus one other trio sonata (BWV 1031). Perhaps Ms. Verbruggen thought that BWV 526 and 528 did not translate well to the recorder. In any event, the recorder and the harpsichord are outstanding here, as is the recording quality. Highest recommendation.