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Boccherini: Sonates & Concertos Pour Violoncelle / Cocset


Release Date: 12/27/2005 
Label:  Alpha Productions   Catalog #: 84   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Xavier Díaz-LatorreBruno CocsetLuis GugliemiRichard Myron,   ... 
Conductor:  Bruno Cocset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Basses Réunies
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

Imported from : UNITED KINGDOM   
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Given that it was his own instrument, it seems odd that Boccherini’s attitude toward the 30 or so cello sonatas he composed was apparently cavalier. He had none published himself, and, more significantly, failed to enter any of them in the catalog he started in 1760. The autograph manuscripts have disappeared, although many can be found in 18th-century copies today housed in the library of the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Milan. Nevertheless, many questions remain concerning such matters as authenticity and dating. This probably accounts for their relative neglect by cellists, all but the most accomplished of whom are also likely to be deterred by some formidable technical demands. While the once-popular G 17 gets an occasional outing, Read more the only recordings in recent years to attempt any kind of survey are a Hyperion that includes five sonatas (including the three recorded on this new Alpha) played by Richard Lester (Fanfare 18:6), and a Sony Vivarte CD, on which five sonatas are played by Anner Bylsma, none congruent with those on the present disc.

Not the least pertinent question regarding the sonatas is their exact designation. Alpha’s notes claim that all are titled Sonata per violoncello solo e basso, which might justifiably lead one to suppose a second cello to accompany; indeed Bylsma’s notes for the Sony disc state unequivocally that Boccherini played them with his father, also a cellist, albeit a less accomplished one than his son. Yet all references (including track listings on both the Cocset. and Bylsma discs) refer to them as being for cello and continuo, which has quite different implications. In the event, it seems paradoxical that in addition to a second cello, Bylsma also employs a fortepiano, while both Lester and Cocset opt for only string bass accompaniment.

The most striking of the sonatas played by Cocset is unquestionably G 565, a work that plays fast and loose with formal structure in the manner of the mature Boccherini (it seems likely the majority of the sonatas are early works). The main theme of the outer movements will be familiar to every listener who knows the cello concerto (also in B?) concocted in the 19th century by Grützmacher, but there all resemblance ends, with Boccherini putting his material through a kaleidoscope of coloristic variation and unexpected harmonic and melodic twists. The central movement springs even greater surprises, the main Largo a blissful, caressing theme being interrupted by a dance-like allegro with vigorous chordal writing before returning to conclude with yet a third contrasted idea, a lyrical adagio that brings the movement to a reposeful end.

Neither of the other sonatas matches G 565 for either invention or craftsmanship, although the opening Adagio of G 17 is overlaid with an affecting melancholy typical of the composer. Elsewhere, the quick movements call for extremely dexterous bowing, with rapid passagework, florid ornamental writing, frequent use of double-stopping, and Boccherini’s favorite device of extending the register high into viola territory.

The two concertos are played in quartet arrangements, including a harpsichord continuo. Neither, I think, takes a prime place among the composer’s works of this kind, although G 480 is an attractive work with an amiable, vaguely Spanish-flavored opening Allegro, and a cantabile Adagio with a long song-like theme, played by Cocset with real affection, nuance, and sense of color. Throughout, in fact, this is playing that proclaims a real virtuoso, with rapid passagework thrown off with astonishing dexterity, arguably sometimes with more regard for speed than expression; there are passages that come dangerously close to vapid note-spinning, although that may be as much Boccherini’s fault as that of Cocset. To set against that is the sheer loveliness of some of his lyrical playing, with fuller, more beautiful tone in some of those high-lying passages than is customarily heard. The accompaniments are highly proficient, if at times over elaborated; there are rather too many pizzicato passages, unfortunate reminders of the prettiness of the famous (and atypical) Minuet. And did we really need a Baroque guitar as an added continuo instrument? Notwithstanding such small reservations, these are excellent performances of music which, if for the most part not essential Boccherini, makes for always agreeable, and sometimes beguiling listening.

FANFARE: Brian Robins
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Cello in A major, G 475 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Xavier Díaz-Latorre (Guitar), Bruno Cocset (Cello), Luis Gugliemi (Harpsichord),
Richard Myron (Double Bass), Mathurin Matharel (Cello), Emmanuel Jacques (Tenor Violin)
Conductor:  Bruno Cocset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Basses Réunies
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 12/2004 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris, France 
Length: 9 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Bruno Cocset. 
2.
Concerto for Cello in G major, G 480 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Mathurin Matharel (Cello), Xavier Díaz-Latorre (Guitar), Richard Myron (Double Bass),
Luis Gugliemi (Harpsichord), Emmanuel Jacques (Tenor Violin), Bruno Cocset (Cello)
Conductor:  Bruno Cocset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Basses Réunies
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
Date of Recording: 12/2004 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris, France 
Length: 13 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Bruno Cocset. 
3.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in B flat major by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Xavier Díaz-Latorre (Guitar), Bruno Cocset (Cello), Richard Myron (Double Bass)
Conductor:  Bruno Cocset
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Basses Réunies
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 12/2004 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris, France 
Length: 15 Minutes 27 Secs. 
4.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C major, G 17 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Mathurin Matharel (Cello), Bruno Cocset (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 12/2004 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris, France 
Length: 11 Minutes 23 Secs. 
5.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in A major, G 4 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Emmanuel Jacques (Cello), Bruno Cocset (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1770 
Date of Recording: 12/2004 
Venue:  Notre-Dame du Bon Secours, Paris, France 
Length: 12 Minutes 16 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cello Concerto in A major, G. 475: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in A major, G. 475: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in A major, G. 475: III. Rondo allegro
Cello Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, G. 565: I. Allegro moderato
Cello Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, G. 565: II. Largo - Allegro - Adagio
Cello Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, G. 565: III. Allegro
Cello Sonata in C major, G. 17: I. Allegro
Cello Sonata in C major, G. 17: II. Largo assai
Cello Sonata in C major, G. 17: III. Rondo allegro
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: I. Allegro
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: II. Adagio
Cello Concerto in G major, G. 480: III. Allegro
Cello Sonata No. 6 in A major, G. 4: I. Adagio
Cello Sonata No. 6 in A major, G. 4: II. Allegro
Cello Sonata No. 6 in A major, G. 4: III. Affetuoso

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