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Thread: Luigi Boccherini

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    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
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    Default Luigi Boccherini

    I can't get enough of Boccherini's chamber music. As a classical guitar fan I heard his Guitar Quintets first, then other works. The String Quintets currently take up a lot of my time. It's all so elegantly crafted, made to please, but a world away from corny light music. All from a man who was often grindingly poor and sometimes beset by tragedy.
    What do you folks think of his music?
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    I happen to like his cello concertos and sonatas a lot... I'm not that big of a fan of the Guitar Quintets, as I prefer the classical guitar as a solo instrument. He's one of the better "unknown" classical-era composers (i.e., not Hadyn, Mozart, or Beethoven).
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    I discovered Boccherini a while ago. It is a mixture of classical and Spanish music, very surprising and refreshing indeed

    However, I stumbled upon a fact that puzzles me.

    Here is Boccherini's "Sinfonia op. 12 N°4 in D minor for two oboes, two horns, strings and continuo: Allegro assai con moto":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T46-P...D8110B&index=2

    And here is Gluck's "Danza degli spettri e delle furie - Dance of the spectres and the furies: Allegro non troppo":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwiL7yf3Hw

    Don't you have the impression that they sound... well... identical? To make things even more interesting, there is a record which features BOTH pieces:

    http://www.andante.com/naive/catalog...iProductID=836

    Does anyone have any idea why those pieces by two different composers sound practically the same? Gluck lived in the same period as Boccherini - maybe they contacted each other and Gluck used it with permission?

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    I own quite a few of his symphonies and cello concertos. They are a delight!! He is a vastly underrated composer of symphonies. Granted they are not in Mozart's league or Haydn's either . But they are well written and fun to listen to.

    The guitar quintets are also not my cup of tea. I do admit to liking guitar concertos and chamber music but not Boccherini's.


    Jim

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    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
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    Well, I must admit I initially disliked the idea of violins and guitar playing simultanously. But since the guitar in Spanish music is used in a bit of a percussive mode, it sounds closer to something like a harpsichord which is great for accompanying the violin. And when I heard Boccherini's Fandango, I simply enjoyed it and found it very refreshing.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by handlebar View Post
    I own quite a few of his symphonies and cello concertos. They are a delight!! He is a vastly underrated composer of symphonies. Granted they are not in Mozart's league or Haydn's either . But they are well written and fun to listen to.

    The guitar quintets are also not my cup of tea. I do admit to liking guitar concertos and chamber music but not Boccherini's.


    Jim
    I like G.448 for guitar, string trio and castanets. I think that Boccherini is a contender for the number three spot during Haydn's and Mozart's era - at least where instrumental music is concerned.

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    Senior Member Il Seraglio's Avatar
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    Default Luigi Boccherini

    A forgotten name from the classical era. He posthumously earned the cruel nickname "Haydn's wife" among 19th century society when traditional classical music had died out.

    Okay, he is not to everybody's tastes and may strike some as being a little too similar to Haydn and Mozart (the late 18th century wasn't exactly known for its great musical variety), but I think he carries an appeal all his own.

    His works sound particularly beautiful when faithfully performed with period instruments which really bring out the emotion in masterpieces like his Cello Concerto in D Major.

    So I just want to show my appreciation for a great composer who really deserves more love.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Not quite forgotten. The minuet from the String Quintet in E has been used in a number of popular venues including animated cartoons if I recall correctly.

    I like his work a bit more than Mozart's (I know that's like blasphemy!) and almost as much as Haydn's. I consider him a worthy successor to Vivaldi. My favorite Boccherini works that I am familiar with may be the guitar quintets. I find this a pleasant combination for a chamber group, the guitar taking away some of the scratchiness I perceive in solo bowed instruments.

    He was also very prolific. Yes, I think Boccerini is certainly underrated.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    All contemporaries of Haydn and Mozart are completely overshadowed by those two giants. But I wouldn't say that Boccherini is forgotten. As far as instrumental music is concerned he's probably the number three guy. I would say that much of his music has a sound of it's own, probably because he spend much of his life in Madrid and not in, say, Vienna. You can hear that Spanish influence in a lot of his music.

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    I know him, I listen to him, I like him. A lot. Cello concertos, chamber music, even symphonies. Good stuff. Is he famous? He definitively have not too recognizeable name, but, like Weston mentioned, his menuet is must-be position on every "best of classical" album. By the way, he is the only one cellist-composer that I'm aware of.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Well, he's not so famous that the average guy in the street will recognize his name. But I think that people who are interested in the music from this era know who he is.

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    Senior Member Il Seraglio's Avatar
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    Oh don't get me wrong, there probably isn't a single person on Earth who hasn't heard that infamous minuet, I just think it's interesting that he was considered a major composer in his time, but has since been either ridiculed or ignored by posterity.

    It's all the more puzzling considering how accessible his music is too.

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    Senior Member jurianbai's Avatar
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    One of my favorite classical era composer. He is like Haydn but with some Spanish element (in his Guitar quintet set) and cellist virtuosic (in Cello quintet set). He was employed in Italy, Spanish and Prussia and this given him a vast variety of styles.

    Fortunatelly he is not largely forgotten as many of his pieces are widely recorded. I've many of his chamber works.

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    Senior Member SPR's Avatar
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    Hm.

    I havent listened to Boccherini yet, but I was reading a paper recently on Mozarts string quintets that suggested that Boccherini (and Haydn and Bach of course) were significant influences - at least in the earlier works (~ KV 174 etc).

    So - any suggestions as to what might be good CDs to start with? I am very partial to chamber music of all kinds, and I often find good production quality important. Nothing worse than a distractingly bad recording. What do you have that you like?

    'Infamous minuet'? Infamous? I suppose I will have to try this among the first ones I get.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPR View Post
    'Infamous minuet'? Infamous? I suppose I will have to try this among the first ones I get.
    There's nothing wrong with that minuet. It's charming and it's a lovely tune. It's only 'crime' is that it's popular.
    Martha doesn't signal when the orchestra comes in, she's just pursing her lips..

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