LABELS: Alia Vox
ALBUM TITLE: Boccherini
WORKS: Quintet No. 4 in D, G448 (Fandango); Quintet in C, G324 (La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid); Sinfonia in D, Op. 37/3 (Grande);Sinfonia in A, Op. 35/3
PERFORMER: Rolf Lislevand (guitar), José de Udaeta (castanets), Manfredo Kraemer, Pablo Valetti (violin), Bruno Cocset (cello); Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall
CATALOGUE NO: AVSA 9845
From the age of 25 Boccherini lived in Spain, relatively isolated from the European mainstream, and Spanish elements lend distinctive colours to his music. So a guitar ripples among strings in the gentle Pastorale opening of G448, arranged from an earlier two-cello quintet. Its finale, a Fandango, is justly familiar. From its bleak opening, Savall gradually whips this lascivious dance into a rhythmic frenzy so frantic that wild castanets momentarily lose contact with the pulse. Where else are ten minutes so effectively devoted almost entirely to just two chords? The same energy characterises the Sinfonia G517, powerful Sturm
und Drang stuff, driven by rattling inner-string tremolos. In a very charming Haydnesque touch, flute and bassoon duet two octaves apart in its Minuet second movement.
The Quintet G324 is a collection of musical scene-paintings of Madrid night-life – open-string pizzicato evoking the quiet Ave Maria bell, bows rattling out a military tattoo on a single note, a street dance of solo cello enveloped in pizzicato
strings. The colours and textures are charming and evocative.
The recorded sound on this disc is excellent, warmed but not clouded by a resonant church acoustic, and the accompanying booklet is handsomely presented. Bubbling high spirits from composer and performers alike produce a most entertaining disc. George Pratt