Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17
Michele Tazzari | Mara Galassi | Boccherini Cello Sonatas – Pan Classics 2012
This is a sonata in three movements written for cello and basso. Some passages in the first Allegro movement are very fast and I think quite difficult to play, requiring double stopped positions. The second movement is in C minor and has the feel of a lament – long sustained notes over a moving bass line and suspensions that are reminiscent of Baroque music. The final Rondo is again very fast, this time also requiring significant skill in the part of the accompanist as well as the soloist! This movement has a passionate sounding minor section with split chords, which contrasts with the main, jovial theme. Overall the style of this piece seems to be somewhere in between Baroque and Classical; the texture in places is quite polyphonic and dense compared to the clearer melodies in Mozart’s works for example.
Op. 30, No 6: “La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid”
This was a well known piece in Spain during Boccherini’s lifetime. I had to watch it on video as at one point the cellists put their instruments across their knees and play them like guitars! It is a string quintet supposedly inspired by the streets of Madrid at night, and has a folk-style dance feel with simple harmonies and strong rhythms. Some Spanish influence is clear, with characteristic accents on the second beat of the bar and a passionate style of violin playing.