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Boccherini, (Ridolfo) Luigi

Boccherini, (Ridolfo) Luigi (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.

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Boccherini, Luigi

Luigi Boccherini (lōōē´jē bôk-kĕrē´nē), 1743–1805, Italian composer and cellist. Together with the violinist Filippo Manfredi he made a highly successful concert tour of Italy and France. After 1769 he was a composer and cellist in Spanish courts. He also served as composer to Frederick William II of Prussia (1787–97) and then returned to Madrid. Boccherini wrote more than 400 works, including 4 cello concertos, about 90 string quartets and about 125 string quintets. His chamber music, displaying complete mastery of the classical style, is remarkable for natural, expressive melodies and fluent instrumental writing. His famous minuet is from the String Quintet Op. 13, No. 4. Boccherini's style is often compared to that of Haydn, and the two composers admired each other's work.

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