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Boccherini: Cello Concertos, Cello Sonatas, Flute Quintets, Stabat Mater

Boccherin
Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 976761  
Composer:  Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner BylsmaDavid SinclairDerek ConrodStephen Marvin,   ... 
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  TafelmusikL'Archibudelli
Number of Discs: 4 
Import   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Some of the original recordings that make up this set:

"[This disc] offers a slightly odd but still very enjoyable selection of Boccherini—timed, no doubt, for the 250th anniversary this year. The two symphonies are late works, the D major a single-movement piece of the Italian overture type, with a slow movement embedded, the C minor his most 'symphonic' work in the Viennese-classical sense of the term. Jeanne Lamon directs lively performances with this excellent Canadian group. The D major she takes rather quickly, producing that sense of tension that arises when music is pushed a little beyond its natural pace; but the effect is energetic and inspiriting (and it is marked con molto spirito). The Andantino is
Read more more relaxed, its colours happily realized. In the C minor work she presses the minuet too much, I think (true, it's marked Allegro), for it to make its points properly, but the fine first movement is direct and unaffected, and its close symphonic argument comes across well, while the finale is splendidly fiery.

Anner Bylsma plays the two concertos, neither of them among the better known of Boccherini's, in characteristic fashion, dashing into the music with his usual sense of fresh discovery and uninhibited enthusiasm. Some might prefer more measured performances, but the intensity of his involvement does draw the listener in, and his bouncing rhythms show an infectious pleasure in the music. The odd rough moment is a modest price to pay. He takes both the slow movements very slowly, surprisingly so, for this runs against the grain of fashion, not to say informed opinion, in the early music world. That of the D major is however rapt in expression, with Bylsma's eloquent line (the phrases in rapid notes are thrown off like little sprigs of decoration) and Tafelmusik's soft and sensitive accompaniment. The C major is a less impressive piece and there must be some doubt about its complete authenticity, at least in this form (who ever heard of a concerto in C with a slow movement in D?); Bylsma contributes some curious, almost trumpet-like tone in the first movement, and plays an extremely odd cadenza.

In fact, the work I enjoyed most of all, and for which I shall treasure this CD in particular, is the Octet, one of a group of late chamber works for mixed combinations which haven't been, but should be, available on records. It is a charming and leisurely piece, exquisitely scored, with one of those seductive minuets bearing Boccherini's most personal stamp—exquisitely scored, gently witty, with a hint of nostalgia and pain lurking somewhere behind the notes. That, at any rate, is how I hear it, and I find it wholly beguiling."

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [7/1993]

Anner Bylsma is a tremendous enthusiast, whose high spirits and nervous energy never fail to manifest themselves in his performances. Here he plays these five Boccherini sonatas with a quite extraordinary rhythmic vitality: listen for example to the finale of G8 or the opening movements of G10 (the chords at the beginning crunched out with tremendous verve) and G15. His articulation is as sharp and precise as can be imagined, and his rhythms, though by no means inflexible, are tough and firmly sprung. He throws off the high passagework with something close to reckless abandon, and it works pretty well: the only exception being the extremely rapid and alarmingly high-pitched figuration in the finale of G8, where the intonation is a little less than perfect in the exposition (though faultless, a fifth lower, in the recapitulation). In the slow movements he achieves a good deal of intensity, showing (notably in G8) a natural feeling for the way in which the expressive tension rises towards a cliche galant cadence and is released by its arrival; G2, a rather sombre C minor work, also has a fine slow movement which he plays with much intensity. There is expressive playing too in the Adagio of G10 and some eloquence in the Andantino that begins G9. But Bylsma does not, I think, always get the best out of the slow movements, which sometimes need a little more relaxation (not his strong point), warmth and grace than he brings to them; similarly, the movements, usually minuets, which Boccherini marks amoroso or affettuoso would have profited from more sense of loving care.

The actual sound of the music is rather different from what we are used to in this music, or any eighteenth-century cello repertory. Bylsma produces an incisive, rather wiry and resonant cello tone, supported here by fortepiano (in three of the five sonatas) and a second cello (in four of them); the combination of all three gives quite a rich sound, though not an indistinct one, for the fortepiano is light and clear—but with only the two cellos there is no sense of harmonies missing in the middle, because of the ring of the instruments. The two cellos alone play the group of fugues, which are slight pieces with at best slender claim to Boccherini's authorship.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [3/1994]

These quintets come from a set of six in a Madrid manuscript with an attribution to Boccherini: they are not in Boccherini’s own catalogue of his works, which doesn’t necessarily exclude their authenticity (he noted in it most of his true chamber music, though not the cello sonatas or the keyboard ones); they sound as if they date from the 1780s, and the presence of an obbligato cello part does of course imply at least some link with him. This is claimed as their world premiere recording.

They are very agreeable and on the whole deftly written pieces, but to my mind don’t quite have the ring of his style: their formal regularity, their sometimes motivic writing (the first movement of the G major work, for example), and the frequent spells of rather routine invention argue against his authorship, as does the three-movement form (he preferred, oddly, two-movement opere piccole or four-movement opere grande), the absence of minuets (a movement type he patently relished) and the presence of three very schematic variation finales (a type he avoided). The compiler of the Boccherini thematic catalogue thought that they had “formulas and turns of style which are characteristic of him”, on reading through the parts, but since he evidently didn’t notice that they were for flute, violin, viola and two cellos (as opposed to flute and string quartet) I am inclined to think the reading-through wasn’t too rigorous.

By Boccherini or not, they make pleasant listening. They don’t demand that special affection for detail or feeling for texture that the most characteristic Boccherini needs, and respond well to these direct, modern performances, neatly phrased, the dialogues gracefully executed. The first cellist, who has several flights into the upper reaches of his instrument, is very assured, and there is also the particular pleasure of Jean-Pierre Rampal’s flute playing, as urbane as ever.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [8/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony in D major, Op. 43/G 521 by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1790; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 5 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Cello in D major, G 476 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 14 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Octet for 2 Violins, Viola, 2 Cellos, Flute/Oboe, Horn and Bassoon in G major, Op. 38 no 4/G 470 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  David Sinclair (Double Bass), Derek Conrod (French Horn), Stephen Marvin (Viola),
Ingrid Matthews (Violin), Jeanne Lamon (Violin), Christina Mahler (Cello),
Anner Bylsma (Cello), Marten Root (Flute), Michael McCraw (Bassoon)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 15 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Cello in C major, G 573 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 15 Minutes 39 Secs. 
5.
Symphony in C minor, Op. 41/G 519 by Luigi Boccherini
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1992 
Venue:  Vereenigte Doopsgezinde Kerk, Haarlem 
Length: 17 Minutes 53 Secs. 
6.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in B flat major, G 8 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello), Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Period: Classical 
7.
Fugues (6) for 2 Cellos, G 73: no 2 in F major by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
8.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in E flat major, G 10 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Kenneth Slowik (Cello), Anner Bylsma (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1771 
9.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in F major, G 9 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Anner Bylsma (Cello), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
10.
Fugues (6) for 2 Cellos, G 73: no 3 in B flat major by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Italy 
11.
Sonata for Cello and Basso Continuo in C minor, G 2 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Anner Bylsma (Cello), Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord), Kenneth Slowik (Cello)
Period: Classical 
12.
Quintet for Flute and Strings in C major, G 439 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal (Flute), Régis Pasquier (Violin), Bruno Pasquier (Viola),
Roland Pidoux (Cello), Mathilde Sternat (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Spain 
13.
Quintet for Flute and Strings in G major, G 438 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal (Flute), Régis Pasquier (Violin), Bruno Pasquier (Viola),
Roland Pidoux (Cello), Mathilde Sternat (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Spain 
14.
Quintet for Flute and Strings in F major, G 437 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Régis Pasquier (Violin), Bruno Pasquier (Viola), Mathilde Sternat (Cello),
Roland Pidoux (Cello), Jean-Pierre Rampal (Flute)
Period: Classical 
Written: Spain 
15.
Quintet for Flute and Strings in G major, G 441 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Jean-Pierre Rampal (Flute), Régis Pasquier (Violin), Bruno Pasquier (Viola),
Roland Pidoux (Cello), Mathilde Sternat (Cello)
Period: Classical 
Written: Spain 
16.
Quintet for Flute and Strings in B flat major, G 442 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Mathilde Sternat (Cello), Jean-Pierre Rampal (Flute), Roland Pidoux (Cello),
Régis Pasquier (Violin), Bruno Pasquier (Viola)
Period: Classical 
Written: Spain 
17.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in F minor, Op 42 no 1/G 348 by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Archibudelli
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Spain 
18.
Quintet for 2 Violins, Viola and 2 Cellos in C major, Op. 42 no 2/G 349 by Luigi Boccherini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Archibudelli
Period: Classical 
Written: 1789; Spain 
19.
Stabat mater in G minor, Op. 61/G 532 by Luigi Boccherini
Performer:  Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Archibudelli
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Spain 

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