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Luigi Boccherini

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Op.47 No.2 Movt 2

Op.47 No.3 Movt 1

Op.47 No.3 Movt 2

Op.47 No.5 Movt 1

Op.47 No.5 Movt 2

Six String Trios for Violin, Viola & Cello

Op.47 Nos. 1-6, G.107-112

While today, the string quartet is the “King” of chamber music ensembles, during the third quarter of the 18th century, the string trio was the most popular chamber ensemble and virtually all of the active composers lavished their talents on them. Haydn, Pleyel, Giardini and Mozart, to name but a few, all spent time and effort writing trios. Boccherini wrote over 70 string trios, however, all but a dozen or so are for 2 violins and cello, rather than what became the standard combination of violin, viola and cello. Boccherini was a very prolific composer writing for virtually every genre which then existed. As a string player, he knew how to make string instruments sound their best. His chamber music shows him as one of the great pioneers of instrumental technique, especially for the cello.

The Op.47 trios were composed in 1793 and sent to King Frederick William of Prussia, a cellist, as a gift. Unlike his Op.14 "Great Trios", which were definitely intended for the concert hall, the Op.47 are more intimate and written on a simpler and smaller scale. Whereas the Op.14 trios each have 3 or 4 movements, the six trios of Op.47 only have two. The opening movement is typically an fast movement, sometimes with a slow introduction and the finale is usually a minuet. But several of the minuets are quite unusual, hardly sounding like minuets at all. The trios are highly inventive, elegant, and graceful. Some have Spanish tinges such as the minuet of Op.47 No.3, and all exhibit fine part-writing.

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) was born in the town of Lucca in northern Italy. He studied cello and became a virtuoso. But it was at a time that such players could not yet make a living from touring, so Boccherini found jobs in various orchestras in Vienna and Italy. Boccherini eventually moved to Paris where he hoped to establish himself as an independent soloist and composer but could not and was forced to take employment with the Spanish royal family for the rest of his life. 

These trios, though not as complex or showy as his Op.14 are nonetheless among the best from this period for string trio. Out of print for the better part of a century, we think players will certainly welcome the chance to add these trios to their collection.

 

 Parts: $33.95

 

           

 

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