Notes and Editorial Reviews
La Magnifica Communità
BRILLIANT 92889 (2 CDs: 130:37)
I gave a hefty helping of praise to the first volume in this series (
29:3), also featuring La Magnifica Communità. There, I praised the group?s ?technical expertise, sharp accenting, singing tone, cantabile phrasing, a broad range of dynamics, rich but varied textures, a feeling for collective music-making, [and]
attentiveness to tempo markings and the score,? qualities that are sometimes lost to sight in the pursuit of authentic performance. As a result, La Magnifica Communità is likely to appeal to a broad base of chamber-music listeners, including both those who cherish original instruments, proper ornamentation, and textural transparency, and those who value most a warm tone, a sense of ensemble, and an exuberant joy in music-making.
Here, they turn their attention to Boccherini?s op. 11 quintets of 1771. Unlike the op. 10 quintets (Brilliant Classics 92503), this set is labeled ?grand quintets,? a title that is believed, for a change, to actually derive from the composer rather than the publisher. Four out of six of the works conclude with a minuet and fast finale, but as ever, Boccherini appears less interested in adhering to a preconceived schematic than in shaping structure to reflect the personalized content of each quintet. For example, the sixth and best known of the group, subtitled ?L?uccelliera,? does indeed present a bird-filled forest in five movements, with two relaxed ones framing a pair of very different
(you can hear the hunting horns approaching in the second) and a minuet. All six quintets are typical of Boccherini?s mature style, developed in Spain under the patronage of the Infante Don Luis, brother of the king. The composer himself is said to have played the first cello part in performances that graced what must have been a magnificent musical establishment.
The liner notes are once again biased, but differ from those included in the last set in making a serious gaffe. We are told that the minuet of the fifth quintet, ?La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid . . . demonstrates [the composer?s] affinity with Spanish folk music in particular and his preferences for rhythms based on folk tunes in general.? Arguable in general, wrong in specific. He seems to have confused this quintet with one from Boccherini?s op. 30 collection. The minuet of the Fifth Quintet, here, is
minuet?the work that was the only one identified with Boccherini?s name during the long night of his reputation. La Magnifica Communità gives it a judiciously ornamented, non-sentimental interpretation that brings its graceful wit to the fore.
The sound is once again intimate and spacious. I wished earlier for Volume 2, and soon. Here it is. Enjoy.
FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
Works on This Recording
Quintets (6) for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos, Op 11/G 271-76 by Luigi Boccherini
Alessandro Lanaro (Viola),
Isabella Longo (Violin),
Luigi Puxeddu (Cello),
Enrico Casazza (Violin),
Vittorio Piombo (Cello)
La Magnifica Comunità
Written: 1771; Spain
Date of Recording: 05/2005
Venue: S. Rocco Oratorio, Grignano, Polesine, R
Length: 130 Minutes 37 Secs.
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