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Luigi Boccherini

(1743—1805) Italian composer and cellist


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(b Lucca, 1743; d Madrid, 1805).

It. cellist and composer. Famous in teens as virtuoso cellist (début at age of 13). Studied in Rome with G. B. Costanzi, 1757. Contemp. of Haydn and resembling him in ideals, methods, and general spirit. Spent much time in Vienna 1757–64. Settled in Madrid in 1770 with court post, remaining until 1787. Appointed ‘composer of his Chamber’ by Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, but it is doubtful if he ever took up his duties at the court in Berlin. After 1798 he lacked a patron and died in poverty. Comp. opera; 30 syms.; 11 vc. concs.; 91 str. qts.; 154 quintets (various combinations); gui. qts.; 60 trios; church mus.; etc. The famous Minuet is from the string quintet in E major, Op.13, No.5. Boccherini's mus., which combines harmonic adventurousness with melodic profundity, is well worth detailed study.

Subjects: Music.


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