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Joseph Bodin de Boismortier’s Op. 20 sonatas for solo violin and basso continuo (1727) are the least known of all his sets of sonatas for one or more violins and accompaniment. These very fine works are written for a largely domestic and amateur market and are much more accessible technically than similar works published by the composer’s compatriots, all of whom were professional violinists (there is no evidence that Boismortier himself played the instrument). Even if his solo writing can be considered conservative, the sonatas are not devoid of technically challenging passages, and musically they are often far superior to those of his peers. Revealing the unmistakable influence of Corelli’s Op. 5 sonatas, they resourcefully combine sonata da camera dance forms with more ‘serious’ movements of the sonata da chiesa, including several in moto perpetuo style. With the appearance of this modern edition, it is hoped that these sonatas will at last gain the recognition they undoubtedly deserve.
Music example sonata 1 (pdf) Music example sonata 2 (pdf) Music example sonata 3 (pdf)