Boccherini: Cello Concertos, Stabat Mater, Quintet (2CD)

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Ophélie Gaillard, Sandrine Piau, Pulcinella Orchestra

Cellist Ophélie Gaillard and Pulcinella Orchestra focus on Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer and first virtuoso cellist in history. Born in the Tuscany, Boccherini then went to the Court of Prussa and Spain. His musical education looks like a journey around Europe, as it used to be.

Long eclipsed by the violin, star of the string instruments, the cello slowly fit in the Eighteenth Century repertoire thanks to composers who played the instrument themselves. The now famous Suites of Johan Sebastian Bach are the first master pieces composed for the cello. Then Luigi Boccherini strengthened its place in the musical creation, thus becoming to cello what Vivaldi was to the violin one generation earlier.

With rhythms of dance from Andalusia and melodies dug along the streets of Madrid, Boccherini draws with notes his adopted country such as his contemporary Francisco Goya did with colours.

This album explores all the genres (concertos, sonatas, symphonies) and invites Sandrine Piau to perform Boccherini’s poignant Stabat Mater for string quintet and solo soprano.

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Concerto pour violoncelle no 6 en ré majeur, G. 479
1. Allegro
2. Adagio
3. Allegro

Symphonie no 6 en ré mineur « La Casa del Diavolo », G. 506
4. Andante sostenuto – Allegro assai
5. Andantino con moto
6. Andante sostenuto – Allegro con moto

Concerto pour violoncelle no 9 sib majeur, G. 482
7. Allegro moderato
8. Andantino grazioso
9. Rondo. Allegro

Quintette à cordes en ut majeur « La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid », op. 30 no 6, G. 324
10. Ave Maria delle Parrochie
11. Il tamburo dei soldati
12. Minuetto dei ciechi
13. Il rosario Largo assai
14. Los Manolos (Passa calle) Allegro vivo
15. Il tamburo
16. La ritirata di Madrid Tempo di marcia


Stabat Mater, G. 532
1. Stabat mater dolorosa Grave assai
2. Cujus animam gementem Allegro
3. Quae moerebat et dolebat Allegretto con moto
4. Quis est homo Adagio assai – Recitativo
5. Pro peccatis suae gentis Allegretto 3
6. Eja mater, fons amoris Larghetto non tanto
7. Tui nati vulnerati Allegro vivo
8. Virgo virginum praeclara Andantino
9. Fac ut portem Christi mortem Larghetto
10. Fac me plagis vulnerari Allegro comodo
11. Quando corpus morietur Andante lento

Sonate pour violoncelle et pianoforte no 2 en ut mineur, G. 2
12. Adagio
13. Allegro
14. Allegretto


Ophélie Gaillard (cello), Sandrine Piau (soprano)

Pulcinella Orchestra

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Cellist Ophelie Gaillard, soprano Sandrine Piau, and the Pulcinella Orchestra provide a well-rounded portrait of one of Classical music’s most beloved composers, Luigi Boccherini. Born in 1743, in Tuscany, he established himself in Spain, and became one of the first virtuoso cellists in history; it is no surprise that his elegant, melodic music often incorporates the flavour of his adopted country, and almost always a solo cello part. Included in this program are a Symphony (oddly, his thirty-odd symphonies do not seem to bear numbers), two Cello Concertos, the String Quintetla musica notturna delle strade di Madrid (Night Music of the Streets of Madrid) which is undoubtedly his best-known work, and a real treat, his Stabat Mater for voice and strings with Sandrine Piau. It would be hard to improve on such a happy marriage of excellent performers and delightful music.

- Chris Dench, The Classical Music Collector