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Luigi Boccherini

February 19, 1743 - May 28, 1805
born in Lucca, Italy, composed during the Classical period
Franz Joseph Haydn may be the father of the string quartet, but Luigi Boccherini might be considered one of its uncles. Born on February 19, 1743, Boccherini was the son of a professional musician who was the first double bassist to perform solo concerts. The elder Boccherini started to give his son cello lessons when the boy was five years old. Luigi continued his studies from the age of nine with Abbé Vanucci, music director of the cathedral at San Martino. When the boy made his first public appearance it was conceded that he had already surpassed his teacher's skills. He was sent to Rome, where he trained with G. B. Costanzi, music director of St. Peter's Basilica. After one year in Rome, Luigi and his father were summoned to Vienna, where they were hired by the Imperial Theater Orchestra.

Boccherini's compositions were first published when he was 17 years old. In 1765 Boccherini and his father went to Milan, which at the time was a magnet for talented musicians. It was there that he wrote his first string quartet. In the same year, the ill health that would plague Boccherini all his life began to take its toll. The composer endured a further blow in 1766 when his father died. He formed a new partnership with the violinist Filippo Manfredi; they toured Italy in 1767 and made their way to Paris, where they became a sensation. In Paris Boccherini published a number of notable works, including a set of six string quartets. Following his successes there, Boccherini began writing and publishing prolifically.

In 1769 Boccherini and Manfredi journeyed to Spain, where the composer enjoyed great acclaim. Boccherini then took up another new genre, the string quintet. He in fact became best known for these works, written for string quartet with an additional cello. Now enjoying the benefits of a steady job, Boccherini married in 1771.

Boccherini's wife died of a stroke in 1785. That year his Spanish patron, Archbishop Don Luis, also died, leaving Boccherini without a position. He petitioned King Charles, asking to be retained in some musical position. Charles granted him a pension and assigned him various musical duties. There was an upturn in Boccherini's fortunes in 1786 when he was commissioned as "Composer of Our Chamber" by Friedrich Wilhelm, who was soon to become King of Prussia. Though he wrote most of his new music for Friedrich Wilhelm, Boccherini remained in Spain, where he wrote his only opera, a zarzuela called La clementina.

In 1787 Boccherini remarried. In 1796 he entered into an arrangement with publisher, composer, and piano manufacturer Ignaz Pleyel, who both praised and published Boccherini's works while cheating him of income. In February 1803, Boccherini was reported as living in "distress," but this is as likely from emotional depression as financial hardship, for in 1802 two of his daughters died from an epidemic within a few days of each other. In 1804 both his wife and his only living daughter died. It seems clear that Boccherini, although he continued to compose up to the end, had little interest in living, and died on May 28, 1805 of what was described as "pulmonary suffocation." He was buried in the Church of San Justo in Madrid. In 1927 his remains were disinterred and he was reburied in the Basilica of San Francesco in his hometown of Lucca. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Boccherini: Cello Quintets

Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In E Major, G. 275 (Op. 11/5)
Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In F Minor, G. 348 (Op. 42/1)
Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In G Minor, G. 351 (Op. 42/4)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Cello Quintets - 2

Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In C Major, G. 310 (Op. 28/4)
Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In C Major, G. 349 (Op. 42/2)
Title: String Quintet (Quintettino) For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In B Minor, G. 350 (Op. 42/3)
Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In D Major, G. 353 (Op. 43/2)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Fandango, Sinfonie & La Musica Notturna di Madrid

Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major ("Fandango"), G. 448 (Arrangement Of String Quintets, G. 270 & 341)
Title: Symphony In D Minor, G. 517 (Op. 37/3)
Title: Symphony In A Major, G. 511 (Op. 35/3)
Title: String Quintet (Quintettino) For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In C Major ("La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid"), G. 324 (Op. 30
x

Track List: Boccherini: Guitar Quintets

Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In E Major, G. 446 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 417)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major ("Fandango"), G. 448 (Arrangement Of String Quintets, G. 270 & 341)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In G Major, G. 450 (Arrangement Of Quintet For Flute And Strings, G. 531 & String Quartet, G. 240)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In C Major ("La Ritirada Di Madrid"), G. 453 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 409)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Guitar Quintets, Vol. 1

Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Minor, G. 445 (arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 416)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In E Major, G. 446 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 417)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In B Flat Major, G. 447 (arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 414)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Guitar Quintets, Vol. 3

Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In C Major ("La Ritirada Di Madrid"), G. 453 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 409)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In E Minor, G. 451 (Arrangement Piano Quintet, G. 407)
Title: String Quintet For 2 Violins, Viola & 2 Cellos In E Major, G. 275 (Op. 11/5)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Piano Quintets

Disc 1
Title: Piano Quintet In E Minor, G. 407 (Op. 56/1)
Title: Piano Quintet In F Major, G. 408 (Op. 56/2)
Title: Piano Quintet In D Major, G. 411 (Op. 56/5)
Disc 2
Title: Piano Quintet In F Major, G. 408 (Op. 56/2)
Title: Piano Quintet In E Minor, G. 415 (Op. 57/3)
Title: Piano Quintet In C Major, G. 418 (Op. 57/6)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Quintets For Guitar And Strings

Disc 1
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Minor, G. 445 (arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 416)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In B Flat Major, G. 447 (arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 414)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major, G. 449 (Arrangement Of String Quartets G. 232, G. 237 & String Quintet, G. 411)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In E Minor, G. 451 (Arrangement Piano Quintet, G. 407)
Disc 2
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In E Major, G. 446 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 417)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major ("Fandango"), G. 448 (Arrangement Of String Quintets, G. 270 & 341)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In G Major, G. 450 (Arrangement Of Quintet For Flute And Strings, G. 531 & String Quartet, G. 240)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In C Major ("La Ritirada Di Madrid"), G. 453 (Arrangement Of Piano Quintet, G. 409)
x

Track List: Boccherini: String Quartets Op. 32 [United Kingdom]

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet In E Flat Major, G. 201 (Op. 32/1)
Title: String Quartet In E Minor, G. 202 (Op. 32/2)
Title: String Quartet In D Major, G. 203 (Op. 32/3)
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet In C Major, G. 204 (Op. 32/4)
Title: String Quartet In G Minor, G. 205 (Op. 32/5)
Title: String Quartet In A Major, G. 206 (Op. 32/6)
x

Track List: Boccherini: String Quintets; Minuet in A /Europa Galante * Biondi

Title: String Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in A minor, G. 300 (Op. 25/6)
Title: String Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in C major, G. 298 (Op. 25/4)
Title: String Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in D minor, G. 295 (Op. 25/1)
Title: Minuet in A major, arrangements (after String Quintet in E major, Op.11/5 [aka Op. 13/5], G. 275)
x

Track List: Boccherini: Symphonies Opus 12

Disc 1
Title: Symphony In D Major, G. 503 (Op. 12/1)
Title: Symphony In C Major, G. 505 (Op. 12/3)
Title: Symphony In D Minor ("La Casa Del Diavolo"), G. 506 (Op. 12/4)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony In E Flat Major, G. 504 (Op. 12/2)
Title: Symphony In B Flat Major, G. 507 (Op. 12/5)
Title: Symphony In A Major, G. 508 (Op. 12/6)
x

Track List: Boccherini: The Symphonies, Op. 12

Disc 1
Title: Symphony In D Major, G. 503 (Op. 12/1)
Title: Symphony In C Major, G. 505 (Op. 12/3)
Title: Symphony In D Minor ("La Casa Del Diavolo"), G. 506 (Op. 12/4)
Disc 2
Title: Symphony In E Flat Major, G. 504 (Op. 12/2)
Title: Symphony In B Flat Major, G. 507 (Op. 12/5)
Title: Symphony In A Major, G. 508 (Op. 12/6)
x

Track List: Guitar Quintets, Vol.2

Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major ("Fandango"), G. 448 (Arrangement Of String Quintets, G. 270 & 341)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In D Major, G. 449 (Arrangement Of String Quartets G. 232, G. 237 & String Quintet, G. 411)
Title: Quintet For Guitar & Strings In G Major, G. 450 (Arrangement Of Quintet For Flute And Strings, G. 531 & String Quartet, G. 240)

Comments

Boccherini ,un glorioso Toscano!
M
I really like Boccherini but my favourite is Mozart, then Beethoven, then Haydn.
kidpainter67
This is the station I ALWAYS use for Studying . Thanks, pandora !
beautiful music but such a tragic end to his life


bwahl_chesta
Beautiful! My hearts warms to every composition!
One of my all time favorite composers
Ilove you pandora
Thanks Pandora for so much great music
cats7fish1
bella
Questo minuetto è molto delicata.
matthew.elli s 7
Same place Nancy Ann gets hers.
john46659
I wonder where T Sellers gets his information.
mmaders1
Relaxing and beautiful :-)
...Quite skillful when it comes to strings.
Beautiful composition.
First heard Boccherni in the film Master and Commander.Ah h h h h !
mhmusicstudi o
You have nice ensembles (good interpretati o n , quality instruments, etc.). I'm enjoying this! (My kids showed me how to get on this site.)
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the the best day of your life. However if you do not post this comment on at least 3 different songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works

Boccherini was a true genius! It's amazing that such beautiful music came from such a sadistic, cold-blooded murderer! Boccherini would often wander the streets at night, looking for victims to shoot or stab, sometimes using a rifle with a bayonet to both shoot AND stab! If only he hadn't killed his wife, he might have gotten away with his life of crime and written even more of his gorgeous, soul-inspiri n g music!
Where can you get this book and CD?
captainpylan t h e s
Boccherini is fantastic! Am I the first one here to post about it?
such beautiful work from such a tragic life.
Luigi è ancora fresco. Egli rocks!
IT'S-A ME-A! LUIGI!
dbaker5727
One of my favorites.
Very, very nice
When looking for silence, Boccherini is my chosen partner.
Gentle is the sound, soothing the mind and heart!
I always thought the cello was a superior instrument to the violin. Boccherini is the man.
musicalawake n i n g s . e x p l o r e r 9
so lithe and playful...an d helps put on a cheerful mood.
Luigi is cool.
santiagozepe d a
Amadeus Mozart has nothing on Boccherini.
I dig Boccherini! Yeah Pandora!
bmoore58
Enjoying his music very much. And quite touched by his suffering. Hopefully the joy of being so gifted counterbalan c e d the troubles he had. But it makes me think being an ordinary mortal might not be so bad.
tedsandyman0 1
rmc hemsing, suck a fat one.
sjaram1
Why is not on Pandora Musica Notturna della Strada de Madrid, that is one oof my favorites from Boccerini! Please Pandora, find it ant play it.
sklenzak
WOW; what talent. What a life. Tragic--ever y o n e died--two wives, daughters in days etc . . .
Boccherini defines boring classical music. If he were a better composer he would sound exactly like Mozart, but then he would sound exactly like Mozart. Boo! Why can't Pandora seem to play ANYTHING BUT Boccherini?? ? ?
toul54
Boccherini is what classical music is all about, his scope is wonderful and I don't know of any more listenable music for anytime of the day. My favorite is the Minuette.
buddy1757
amazing, wonderful and beautifull bliss just makes me want to go to sleep!!!
seanh69
I LOVE Boccherini, his music is always just a little bit different from the rest of the classical composers, especially with his Spanish flair on most of his pieces, which makes him stand out when listening to a conglomerati o n of different classical era pieces. Boccherini is always distinguisha b l e and his violin pieces are amazing.
This music is very enjoyable.
wonderful, oh so beautiful
nice lightly classical and eminently soothing. aahhh from my ears
ednbobbie
While I DO enjoy Boccherini, when I hear it I usually let it pass without comment, but OCCASIONALLY I hear a Boccherini selection that I REALLY, REALLY like; and this selection is probably my very favorite of all his compositions . Thanks again for the treat! Ed
Why is there SO much Boccherini played on Pandora?? Enough already!!!
I never knew how much I adored classical strings until I heard Boccherini.
Brings peace..
beautiful, is the only way to say it.
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