Tuesday, 15 July 2008

128. Luigi Boccherini - String Quintets (1772-1803)


Title: Cello Quintets
Performer: Vanburgh Quartet, Richard Lester
Year: 2001
Length: 1 hour


Boccherini is probably best known as the composer of the Minuet in String Quintet in E major Op.13 no.5, and that particular track is such a caricature of rococo refinement that it sounds a bit ridiculous to us today. It was made popular in the film The Ladykillers, and now is mostly used as music to eat canapés by. (actually Music to Eat Canapés By would be a great compilation album, maybe with a sequel about vol-au-vents).

That being said there is a lot of sprightliness to the music, it is joyous music which owes most of itself to Haydn and Vivaldi, so it isn't stupendously original, but it is enjoyable.

Boccherini is know by the sexist epithet of "Haydn's Wife" and you can kind of tell why, if Haydn isn't the most demanding of composers to the ear, Boccherini is simply too easy. Oh well.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Boccherini's style is characterized by the typical Rococo charm, lightness, and optimism, and exhibits much melodic and rhythmic invention, coupled with frequent influences from the guitar tradition of his adopted country, Spain. Neglected after his death—the dismissive sobriquet "Haydn's wife" dates from the nineteenth century— his works have been gaining more recognition lately, in print, record, and concert hall. His famous "Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid" (String Quintet in C Major, Op. 30 No. 6), has recently been popularised through the Peter Weir film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Music To Eat Canapés By, Track 1:

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