Boccherini: Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1

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COMPOSERS: Boccherini
WORKS: Complete Symphonies, Vol. 1
PERFORMER: Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss/Johannes Goritzki
It is one of the many blessings of the CD era that we should now have, on eight discs, all the symphonies of Luigi Boccherini in exemplary performances by the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, conducted with flair and tenderness by Johannes Goritzki. It was criminal for music history to have considered Boccherini as the ‘wife of Haydn’ (Haydn himself, in those days, happily long forgotten, having been regarded as a feeble predecessor of Mozart and the bad teacher of Beethoven). Actually Boccherini was responsible, with Haydn, for creating the classical string quartet as we know it and, as a symphonic composer, his stature is just now being recognised. I have not heard the other records of this set, but volume one is a delightful calling card: what I particularly loved were the slightly melancholic, languidly elegant slow movements – an amazing contrast to Haydn’s tightly structured adagios of the comparable period. I urge you to sample these delectable and subtle symphonies: one of them even has a guitar. But I have to say that fifty minutes is not enough for a normal commercial CD. HC Robbins Landon