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Boccherini symphonies -
reviewed by

'... maximum virtuosity and élan.'

Boccherini symphonies. © 2003 harmonia mundi

It will take yet another edition of the New Grove to make ultimate sense of Boccherini's work-list, if indeed such is attainable this side of the grave with no disembodied composer to assist. Meanwhile we must be content that of the four enchanting symphonies on this CD, two were written for Spain, the others for Berlin. A hearing of the works demonstrates at once Boccherini's admiration for Haydn, with whom he was in correspondence. Haydn was initially at a loss how to address a reply, as he told his publisher Artaria: 'No one here can tell me where this place Arenas is. It cannot be far from Madrid, however: please let me know about this, as I want to write to Herr Boccherini myself.' Already in 1768 Boccherini was described as famous, when he shared a meal in Valencia with Casanova; and two years later he was in employment with the Infante Don Luis, brother of Carlos III. It was the Don's morganatic marriage that shifted his establishment plus Boccherini to Las Arenas, the address that puzzled Haydn and was secluded in the way of Haydn's Esterházy.

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Copyright © 24 September 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


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