His mastery of the violoncello, and his advanced sense of beauty in instrumental tone-color, must have made even his earlier works seem to contemporaries at least as novel and mature as any of those experiments at which Haydn, with eight years more of age and experience, was laboring in the development of the true new forms
-Germaine de Rothschild: Luigi Boccherini: His Life and Work,
Our Video of the Week today pays a birthday tribute to Italian – Spanish composer Luigi Boccherini, (b. Feb. 19, 1743), a contemporary of Mozart and Haydn, and one of the first great virtuosos of the cello (by age 16 he was the solo cellist of the Imperial Theatre in Vienna, and a celebrated recital when he was 19 earned him a membership in the “Virtuosi of the Music-Akademia.”
Boccherini wrote no fewer than 38 Sonatas for his chosen instrument, and interestingly, while they are mostly played today by solo cello and piano, Boccherini actually wrote them for “Violoncello e Basso,” which actually means cello with a second cello, not a keyboard. (Boccherini was taught by his father, a double bassist, and frequently performed these sonatas with his dad, who played the second cello part.)
So, channeling the cello firm of Boccherini and Son are Heifetz cellists Christine J. Lee and Benjamin Doane, in this blast of Boccherini from Francis Auditorium!
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