Boccherini: String Quartets Op 32 No 3-6 /Quartetto Borciani

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This delightful disc presents absolutely first-rate performances of chamber music that deserves to be much better known. There are two reasons that Boccherini's music hasn't worn as well as Haydn's or Mozart's. First, his prevailing mode of gentle graciousness precludes the kind of emotional depth and drama that the two Viennese masters routinely write into their instrumental music. Second (and related to the first point), Boccherini writes marvelously varied expositions--witness the C major (Op. 32 No. 4) quartet's opening Allegro bizzarro--but uneventful developments. In short, his music isn't as well sustained or as purposeful as Haydn's or Mozart's, but it's also not as lengthy or ambitious, so within its given parameters there's some wonderful writing, and the Quartetto Borciani plays these quartets for all they're worth. In particular, they characterize the opening movements with as much gusto as the music can take. Even the initial Allegro comodo of the tepidly genial G minor quartet (Op. 32 No. 5) moves purposefully forward, while the same work's final Capriccio ad libitum captures the players (and the composer) in full fantastic flight. By contrast, slow movements are marvelously sustained and possess a genuinely Italianate singing tone--as in the heavenly and impressively large-scale Adagio from the D major quartet (Op. 32 No. 3). In sum, you won't easily hear a more persuasive case being made for this music, and Naxos' sonics are top-drawer. Come and explore! --David Hurwitz,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8555043

  • UPC: 747313504329

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Luigi Boccherini

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Paolo Borciani String Quartet

  • Performer: Claudia Ravetto, Elena Ponzoni, Fulvio Luciani, Roberto Tarenzi