Let’s back up in time a little bit, shall we? I just heard this captivating piece a week or two ago on the radio. Luigi Boccherini was a cellist and composer during the Classical period, roughly contemporary with Franz Joseph Haydn. He was highly prolific, but his music was neglected for many, many years, overshadowed by the likes of Haydn and Mozart. In all honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anything by Boccherini aside from this piece. He composed when the orchestra was still very small and evolving into something more than a large chamber ensemble, which gives this symphony the chamber-like air that it has. In fact, when I joined the work in progress, I wasn’t even sure if it was a symphony at all, or a guitar concerto, or some other chamber hybrid work. It is, however, like all fine works of the classical era, a beguiling and even refreshing listen.
Next week: Back to Borodin.