25 Mar 2012

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

From Composer of the Week, 9:00 am on 25 March 2012
Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Boccherini Photo: Pompeo Batoni [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Boccherini’s birth date of 1743 puts him halfway between Haydn and Mozart in age and in our estimation of composers of the classical era he is completely overshadowed by them.

Partly this is due to the instrumental forces he tended to write for – he composed hundreds of chamber works: sonatas, trios, quartets, quintets (especially), and sextets. And his own instrument, the cello, was his primary focus.

He was not the symphonist that either Haydn or Mozart was and he wrote only one opera, and that was really a zarzuela rather than a true opera.

But he was a good composer.

Music Details:

Boccherini arr ?: The Minuet [sung by The Comedian Harmonists] - Pavilion PAST CD 7000
Boccherini: Cello Concerto No 9 in Bb, G482 - Naxos 8.557589
Boccherini: Symphony in D minor, G506, La casa del diavolo - Opus 111 OP 30399
Boccherini: Guitar Quintet No 4 in D, G448, Fandango - Virgin Veritas 7243 5 45607
Boccherini: Fac me plagis, from Stabat Mater - Hyperion CDA 67108
Boccherini: Almas que amor sujeto, from La Clementina - Astree Naïve E8885
Boccherini arr Berio: Quattro versioni originali della “Ritirata notturna di Madrid” sovrapposte e trascritte per orchestra - Decca 476 2830


Elisabeth Le Guin, Boccherini’s Body: An Essay in Carnal Musicology, Berkeley, CA, 2006.
Germaine de Rothschild, Luigi Boccherini: His Life and Work, London, 1965.
R. Ciranni & G. Fornaciari, ‘Luigi Boccherini and the Barocco Cello: An 18th Century Striking Case of Occupational Disease’, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 13, 5, 2003, pp. 294–302.