Luigi Boccherini spent his early life in the service of the authorities of his hometown of Lucca, in Tuscany, though his talent as a cellist and composer often saw him travel abroad with his family at this young age. Settling in Spain in 1770, he spent the next 15 years of his life in the service of the Infante Luis Antonio Jaime of Bourbon. The String Quintets Op.29 for two violins, viola and two cellos were composed for the Infante in 1779 and represent a peak in Boccherini’s output, both for the magic of their texture and their great formal freedom. They remained unpublished for several years, only printed posthumously by the Parisian publisher Pleyel in 1813. The presence of dance is a common feature of the Quintets, with examples of every kind bursting out unexpectedly, even in movements where it is not openly called for. Particularly striking in this regard is Boccherini’s way of disrupting a slow movement in order to leave space for the dance to follow to the point that, in the sixth and last quintet, the slow movement is reduced to a sad Prelude before the Goyescan finale. Performing these works are I Virtuosi della Rotonda, a chamber group founded by Luigi Puxeddu in 2002, made up of soloists and leaders of major Italian orchestras. Puxeddu has already released Boccherini’s String Quintets Op.18, with La Magnifica Comunità (BC93346), and his Complete Cello Sonatas (BC93784) on Brilliant Classics. The latter, the only complete recording in existence, was named Disc of the Month by Angelo Foletto in the Italian classical music magazine Suonare News and received five Diapasons in France, as well as being critically praised in American Record Guide and Classical Voice.
After a lapse of several years this set presents the continuation of a highly successful and popular series on Brilliant Classics: the string quintets by Boccherini! The String Quintet series, of which 15 CD’s have already been issued, brought to light many hidden treasures, masterworks of chamber music in pure Classical Style, brimming with vitality, wit and winning charm. The ensemble I Virtuosi delle Rotonda are basically the same as the previous ensemble La Magnifica Comunita, only the primarius is changed: early music specialist and pioneer Federico Guglielmo, a better and stronger advocate of this delicious music is hardly imaginable…
Recorded in 2013.
Booklet includes liner notes and artist/ensemble biographies in English and Italian.