Albion Magazine

Another Avison disc presents his recently-discovered concerti grossi arrangements of Francesco Geminiani’s Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo . Avison became acquainted with Geminiani in the mid-1720’s in London, where Geminiani had been establishing himself as a top violinist, scholar and composer. The Italian composer became Avison’s mentor and friend, and probably his teacher as well: in a letter to Avison, he wrote “You are my heir.” In return, Avison copied, arranged, and promoted much of Geminiani’s music. Whilst remaining generally faithful to Geminiani’s formal structure and melodic lines, Avison occasionally includes some elements new to the Geminiani originals. Here the Avison Ensemble, a group formed specifically to promote the composer after the unexpected discovery of a collection of his music, record his arrangements of Geminiani’s Op. 1 sonatas (No 11 of the twelve is missing, so it is included here in an arrangement by the Ensemble’s director, Pavlo Beznosiuk.) The Ensemble perform this attractive music with flair and intelligence.

—Em Marshall