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Boccherini: String Quintets / Biondi, Europa Galante


Release Date: 09/24/2007 
Label:  Recommends   Catalog #: 5034082  
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Quite simply the most enjoyable recording of the music of Boccherini that I have ever heard.

This is quite simply the most enjoyable recording of the music of Boccherini that I have ever heard. The playing is at once cultivated and fresh. Every opportunity is taken to bring out the many contrasts of texture, volume and articulation inherent in the music, and for once there is never any sense that the players find the music in any way routine or unimportant. As a result, neither does the listener, and I found that each time I put the disc on I was immediately hooked, wanting to know what came next and how the players would treat it. Admittedly there are a few moments where it might be possible to charge them with some
Read more exaggeration of the unpredictability that they find in the music, but better this than a too polite approach depriving it of its special character, so different from that of Haydn or Mozart. There are special delights to be found in each movement – for instance, the turbulent first movement of the A Minor Quintet or the strange Minuet of the D Minor. Throughout I was astonished at the different sounds that the composer manages to conjure using the additional cello, and at his delightful use of Spanish rhythms and melodic patterns.

The recording is clear with a good balance between the instruments. The only criticism I can make is of a small error in listing the contents on the sleeve and in the booklet. These refer to the final track as being the Larghetto from Op. 25 No. 4. It is in fact the Minuet which at one time was all that was performed by the composer – from Op. 11 No. 5 in E. The first time I heard it here I enjoyed the added decorations in the repeat of the Minuet although I am not convinced that they wear well on repetition. It is however simple to omit this track when playing the recordings of the three complete Quintets. When that is done, it is clear why this disc should be included in a series entitled “The Gramophone Classical Music Guide recommends”. It well deserved such a recommendation, and it can be strongly recommended again in this reissue.

-- John Sheppard, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in A minor, Op. 25 no 6/G 300 by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Spain 
2.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in C major, Op. 25 no 4/G 298 by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Spain 
3.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in D minor, Op. 25 no 1/G 295 by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Spain 
4.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in E major, Op. 11 no 5/G 275: 3rd movement, Minuet in A by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Spain 

Sound Samples

String Quintet in A minor Op. 25 No. 6 (G300): I. Allegro non molto
String Quintet in A minor Op. 25 No. 6 (G300): II. Minuetto
String Quintet in A minor Op. 25 No. 6 (G300): III. Largo cantabile
String Quintet in A minor Op. 25 No. 6 (G300): IV. Finale : Allegro giusto
String Quintet in C major Op. 25 No. 4 (G298): I. Allegro
String Quintet in C major Op. 25 No. 4 (G298): II. Larghetto
String Quintet in C major Op. 25 No. 4 (G298): III. Minuetto
String Quintet in C major Op. 25 No. 4 (G298): IV. Allegro
String Quintet in D minor Op. 25 No. 1 (G295): I. Larghetto
String Quintet in D minor Op. 25 No. 1 (G295): II. Allegro
String Quintet in D minor Op. 25 No. 1 (G295): III. Minuetto con moto
String Quintet in D minor Op. 25 No. 1 (G295): IV. Rondeau allegretto
String Quintet in E major Op. 11 No. 5 (G275): Minuetto in A

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