This expert group of Italian Barock musicians continues its journey through Boccherini’s greatest contribution to chamber music. He composed over a hundred string quintets, none of which will ever achieve the (deserved) fame or reputation of Schubert’s single example, but which have much to offer on their own terms: most notably a singing, melodic invention that betrays his Italian roots, as does the relatively low place accorded to counterpoint or development compared to the more strenuous inventions of his contemporary Mozart.
The Op.25 set of six quintets recorded here dates from 1778, a decade after he made his decisive and profitable move to Madrid in the employ and patronage of aristocratic courts who were well pleased with the unfailingly charming, uncomplicated and urbane music he provided for their entertainment and diversion. One of his patrons had a string quartet: with Boccherini joining them as a second cellist, a genre was born, only to die a matter of decades later with Schubert.
- The only available recording of the complete Op.25 set, and part of an unprecedented complete cycle.