Luigi Boccherini (19 February 1743 – 28 May 1805) was an Italian composer of the Classical era. He was a renowned cellist and artist who inspired the growth of the string quartet and composed the first music for a quintet for strings and a quintet for piano and strings. Boccherini has written many guitar quintets, including the Spanish-influenced "Fandango." Much of the chamber music of Boccherini follows styles established by Joseph Haydn; Boccherini, however, also has a good reputation for developing his string quartet style by bringing the cello to prominence, while Haydn frequently reduced it to the role of accompaniment. His works, which include the first compositions for string quintet and a string quartet for piano, significantly impacted the evolution of the string quartet genre. Sacramental compositions, symphonies, and concerti are among the composer's 500 or so pieces. Giovanni Gastoni Boccherini, a prominent poet, and dancer who penned librettos for Antonio Salieri and Joseph Haydn was the third child of Leopoldo Boccherini, a double-bass player. He was placed under the care of the local cathedral's music director at a young age. Giovanni Battista Costanzi, the musical director of St. Peter's Basilica, sent him to Rome at age 13 to learn cello with him. From Giovanni da Palestrina's vocal works and Arcangelo Corelli's instrumental compositions, Boccherini drew inspiration in Rome from the polyphonic tradition. In 1757, the Imperial Theatre Orchestra in Vienna asked Boccherini and his father to perform. At 17, Boccherini made his compositional debut with his Six Trios for Two Violins and Cello, G 77–82, during his second trip to Vienna (1760). Public performances of Boccherini's music were favorably appreciated on his third visit to the city. Lucca's local church and theater orchestras hired him in August that year, and he remained there for the rest of his life. In 1765, he was a member of Giovanni Battista Sammartini's orchestra in Lombardy. As a result of the quartet's "conversational" manner, the cello's line became just as essential as the violin and viola's counterpoint. To play the first public string quartet concert, Boccherini assembled a stellar group of Tuscan virtuosos led by himself, Pietro Nardini, Filippo Manfredi, and Giuseppe Cambini, all of whom were students of Nardini. Boccherini moved to Paris after his father's death (1766), a welcoming city for Italian artists at the time. The French publishers published it Grangé, Venier, and Chevardière (Six String Quartets, G 159–164 and Six Duet for Two Violins G 56–61, of 1761) as well as new ones (Six Trios for Two Violins and Cello, G 83–88, and Symphony in D Major of 1766 and c. 1766?). The Six Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin, G 25–30, were born out of Boccherini's friendship with harpsichordist Madame Brillon de Jouy.
Tradition holds that the Spanish envoy in Paris convinced Boccherini (perhaps between 1768 and 1769) to relocate to Madrid, where he would begin his protracted stay at Charles III's intrigue-ridden court. In recognition of his talents as a cellist and composer, the king's younger brother, Don Luis, bestowed upon him an annual sum of 30,000 reals. Aside from his well-known String Quartet G 177–182, Boccherini composed string quintets during this period (1772). He married Clementina Pelicho, with whom he had five children, about the same period. To make ends meet, Frederick William II of Prussia, an avid cellist and expert on Boccherini's music, offered him patronage in 1785, after Clementina's and the infante's deaths, owing to his enormous accomplishments. Boccherini contributed vocal pieces to the instrumental work, including the Stabat Mater, G 532 (1781), the zarzuela La Clementina, G 540 (1786), and the Christmas Villancicos, G 539 (1786), all by Ramon de la Cruz (1783). In 1787, Boccherini tied the knot with Joaquina Porreti. From 1787 until 1797, he may have worked for Frederick William II in Berlin, although this role was not well recorded. It is also possible that he stayed in Spain during this period. When the new king of Prussia declined to renew Boccherini's pension, he was further financially strained by the departure of the duchess of Osuna (another critical source of money). In 1802 he lost two children; in 1804, he lost his second wife and a third daughter, all of whom had been his pride and joy. Although he was said to be living in a state of near poverty, this may have been overstated. However, he died in 1805 of a long-standing respiratory condition due to his losses. Many of the long-standing uncertainties about the authenticity of Luigi Boccherini's musical legacy were alleviated by Yves Gérard's Thematic, Bibliographical, and Critical Catalogue (1969). The tensions were exacerbated by the loss of much material during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), which contributed to the confusion. He is best known as the composer of chamber music, although his symphonies and concertos have a great deal to offer. The composer created more than 100 quintets, more than 100 quartets, more than 50 trios, and more than 50 chamber works in different forms. Unfortunately, the Cello Concerto in B-flat, which he adapted from two Boccherini concerti and a sonata by the 19th-century composer and cellist Friedrich Grützmacher, is still his most well-known composition. This is a real shame. The famous Boccherini minuet may be found in his String Quintet in E Major, G 275. Boccherini was a virtuoso cellist who also played a violin range on the cello at a pitch, a talent he gained while touring. He has composed many chamber music, including two violins, violas, two cellos, and over a hundred string quintets. Cello Concerto No. 9 in B-flat Major, G. 482, by Luigi Boccherini was composed in the late 1760s or early 1770s. Boccherini was a gifted cellist who wrote twelve concertos for his instrument.
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