One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
Vivaldi
9 cello sonatas
Dussek
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Six String Quartets Op. 15 (1772)
Quartet No. 1 in D major G.177 [8:06]
Quartet No. 2 in F major G.178 [10:59]
Quartet No. 3 in E major G.179 [9:23]
Quartet No. 4 in F major G.180 [8:56]
Quartet No. 5 in E flat major G.181 [10:22]
Quartet No. 6 in C minor G.182 [8:09]
Alea Ensemble (Andrea Rognoni, Fiorenza De Donatis (violin); Stefano Marcocchi (viola); Marco Frezzato (cello))
rec. 27-29 December 2010, Auditorium RSI, Lugano, Switzerland
DYNAMIC CDS7704 [56:01]

Luigi Boccherini has long been recognised as one of the founders and leading exponents of the string quartet genre, even though his various collections have always been overshadowed by those of his contemporary Haydn. Boccherini’s Opp. 2, 8, 9, 24, 32 and 58 are known, if not available in masses of different recordings. The Op. 15 set has lacked a complete score edition which would have made it more accessible to performers. While the occasional Op. 15 quartet has popped up this recording represents the premiere of Giuliano Castellani’s complete critical edition of a series of quartets which was pivotal in the development of Boccherini’s quartet writing.

The op. 15 set is technically less demanding than some of the other opus numbers, which would have been aimed at the likes of Boccherini’s own more professional ‘Tuscan Quartet’. These pieces are approachable by amateurs, but as can be heard from the outset they would have provided a high level of musical satisfaction for both players and audiences alike. There is plenty of surprise both melodically and harmonically, and the Alea Ensemble ably demonstrates how crucial the dynamic contrasts and effects are when getting the most out of the music.

The Alea Ensemble is positioned within early music interpretation, so you can expect the more intimate, slightly thinner sound of gut strings and very sparing use of vibrato. The result is a transparent, frequently pastoral sound which suits the direct nature of this music very well indeed. Expressive moments can be leant on and resolved within the proportions of the whole without treading on the toes of later composers. We can never know exactly how these works would have sounded in their day, but I can imagine Boccherini smiling at the familiarity of his notes, and revelling in the skill and affection with which they are played in this nicely atmospheric recording.

Technical virtuosity might not be such a priority in these works, but have a listen to the Prestissimo second movement of the Quartet No. 3 and you will hear plenty of fun and high jinks. Each of these quartets is divided into two movements, and the compact nature of each piece makes for an easy listen. There is plenty of contrast, witnessed by the lovely pizzicato accompaniment to the Minuetto of G.180, which surrounds a deliciously secretive and trilling trio section.

Without going on at great length this is the kind of disc which every fan of Haydn’s string quartets should have, not only as a reminder of other composers who were creating works of equal attractiveness in this genre, but for the sheer pleasure of discovery of such delightful music in its own right.

Dominy Clements
 

 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger