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Luigi Boccherini

String Trio Op.1 No.3

String Trio Op.1 No.4

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String Trios for Two Violins & Cello

 Op.1 No.3 in A Major & Op.1 No.4 in D Major, G.79 & 80

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.

While today, the string quartet is the “King” of chamber music ensembles, but during the last half 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. As an evolving form, what we today have come to regard as the standard string trio, i.e. a work for violin, viola and cello, most composers did not write for this combination before 1785. Before then, the great majority of string trios were written for 2 violins and cello.

Boccherini is a case in point. He wrote over 70 string trios, however, all but a dozen or so are for 2 violins and cello, rather than violin, viola and cello. Op.1 Nos.3 & 4 are the third and fourth of a set of six trios (it was then standard practice to compose and publish trios or quartets in sets of six), composed and published in Vienna in 1760. These trios are a representative example of the changing musical expression around the middle of the 18th century. They combine elements of late Baroque with the new emerging Classical style pioneered in Mannheim and Vienna. The trios are the descendants of earlier such works by Corelli and Tartini. The choice of three movements per work harks back to the Baroque as well as the placement of a slow, movement followed by two faster ones, seen in the last four of the six trios. However, the first two trios of the set, use the fast—slow—fast pattern which was the standard of the nascent Classical style.

The trios, generally in written in concertante style, who that Boccherini’s thinking was, even at a young age, quite advanced in that the writing for the three voices is quite balanced and not merely shared between the two treble voices. No doubt, this was because Boccherini was a cellist and most likely planned to premier his own works.

 

Op.1 No.3 Parts: $19.95        /     Op.1 No.4-Parts: $19.95

                                      

Special Offer: Both Trios: $29.95

 

 

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