String Trio in D Major, Op.34 No.4, G.104
"El Fandango" for 2 Violins & Cello
"Op.34 No.4 is perhaps the finest trio for this combination that Boccherini ever wrote--and he wrote nearly 60--and certainly one of the best from this period for this combination. The intricate part-writing is excellent, the moods and tonal colors he brings forth are wide-ranging and the overall treatment of the three voices leave nothing to be desired."
So wrote the editor of The Chamber Music Journal. Boccherini was the unquestioned master of this type of trio and those who came after either modeled their work on his or at least familiarized themselves with it.
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.
Most probably, Boccherini's royal patron expected his composer to at least occasionally utilize native melodies and dances and it is not surprising to find these in many of his compositions. The structure of the trio, especially the second movement, is quite interesting. It opens with a moody and melancholy Allegro moderato assai. For the most part, it sounds, slow and meandering but 32nd note passages create the illusion of a quicker tempo. The second movement, Grave--Allegro, begins with a very dark, funereal dirge for its introduction. The Allegro which serves as the main part of the movement, is a wild dance--a fandango, a traditional dance of Spanish origin. A brief Adagio in which the cello is given a short cadenza interrupts the festivities without warning before the Allegro returns. But surprisingly, the movement is concluded by the reintroduction of the Grave. The closing movement, as was traditional for the time is a Menuetto, a stately and traditional although toward the end it picks up speed.
This fine trio will be a welcome addition to every trio party's repertoire. Our edition, edited by R.H.R. Silvertrust is the first in nearly a century.