Boccherini / String Quintet in C major, Op. 25 No. 4 (G. 298)





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Published on Mar 3, 2013

Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

String Quintet in C major, Op. 25 No. 4 [G. 298] (1778)

00:00 - Allegro
09:49 - Larghetto
13:42 - Minuetto & Trio
17:35 - Allegro

Europa Galante:
Violins - Fabio Biondi & Enrico Casazza
Viola - Ernesto Braucher
Violoncellos - Maurizio Naddeo & Antonio Fantinuoli

"The Quintet in C (G. 298) has an unusual structure. In the opening Allegro, the first cello gets things under way in improvisatory fashion before the other instruments are fully integrated into the overall texture, at which point the complete ensemble produces a real 'argument' with fragments, sighs, assertions and suspensions, by means of a great variety of harmonic, melodic and contrapuntal effects, with even the appearance of a brief fugato passage. The short Larghetto deploys a sweetly melancholic tune over a rocking bass -- a very romantic effect. The Minuetto is more energetic and forward-moving, not brutally so, but with gently clashing dissonances. By contrast, the Trio is more lyrical, and at the end of the reprise of the minuet, where the listener is put in suspense and expectancy by a little violin cadenza, one is surprised to hear a reappearance, in a shortened version, of the first movement. This way of ending the work gives it a sense of unity which, unlike Haydn and Mozart, Boccherini was to pursue, above all in his quintets with two cellos, making use of unexpected intercuttings and surprising re-statements. Boccherini's contemporaries got it right: if they were sometimes delighted by 'strange effects' created by his overbrimming, disconcerting imagination, they placed him, during the 1780s, somewhere between Haydn and Mozart, and on the same level of creative originality." - Yves Gérard

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