Bojan Čičić leads Carbonelli’s Sonate da Camera Nos 1-6

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COMPOSERS: Carbonelli
LABELS: Delphian
ALBUM TITLE: Carbonelli
WORKS: Sonate da Camera Nos 1-6
PERFORMER: Bojan Čičić (violin); The Illyria Consort


A newly-discovered Baroque composer, a superb and passionate performance, and meticulous sound engineering – what more can a recording offer? This is the debut recording of the Illyria Consort, led by violinist Bojan Čičić, who bring us four previously unrecorded sonatas and one of the first-ever programmes dedicated to Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli (1694-1773). A violin virtuoso, the Italian Carbonelli sought his fortune in London in 1719, where performance and teaching left him time to compose only a handful of works. He eventually took English citizenship (in 1734) and achieved fame, but as a purveyor of fine wines, rather than as a musician.

As a composer, Carbonelli brought together, in odd and fabulous ways, earlier innovations in solo violin writing: Corelli’s double-stopped fugal writing, Biber’s rhapsodic figuration, Vivaldi’s forms and boldness of theme. In the sonatas presented here, the moods range from melancholic to impudent. Whatever the affect and associations of his music, the density of Carbonelli’s ideas makes you lean in and listen harder.

Bojan Cicic’s distinctive sound – sweet, slightly dry and exquisitely centred – is ideal for the taut beauty of Carbonelli’s solo lines. Crucially, Čičić fleshes out the composer’s ideas, filling rests and cadences with large dollops of his own making. His band helps him enormously, not least with their additions and sexy realisations. The future of the Illyria Consort is bright.

Berta Joncus


Listen to an excerpt from this recording here.