String Quartet D Major, G.177 (Op.15 No.1)
Boccherini's String Quartet in D Major, G.177, was the first of a set of six quartets which date from 1772. They were simultaneously published in Paris and Amsterdam variously as his Opus 15 or Opus 1 and also Op.8 No.5. The opus number to Boccherini's works are both confusing and unreliable because different publishers would give the same work different opus numbers. It was only until they were catalogued by Yves Gérard that we now have an accurate chronological catalog of his works. It is unusual in that it is only in two movements Presto and Rondo, lacking a slow movement. The Italian influence is no longer as prominent as in his earlier quartets, though still present, one hears elements of the then current French taste.
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.
This Quartet is important from an historical standpoint as it serves as a comparison to developments in Mannheim and Vienna. Our new edition has rehearsal letters.