The Carmina Quartet performs Fandango from the Italian classical era composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini‘s Guitar Quintet G. 448 in D Major. Matthias Enderle, violin 1, Susanne Frank, violin 2, Wendy Champney, viola and Stephan Goerner, violoncello with Rolf Lislevand, guitar and Nina Corti, castanets.

The Carmina Quartet performs Fandango from the Italian classical era composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet G. 448 in D Major. Matthias Enderle, violin 1, Susanne Frank, violin 2, Wendy Champney, viola and Stephan Goerner, violoncello with Rolf Lislevand, guitar and Nina Corti, castanets.

Luigi Boccherini’s Fandango

Luigi Boccherini, a virtuoso cellist and prolific composer like his contemporaries featured in today’s program, enjoyed widespread acclaim during his lifetime. Charles Burney, a notable 18th-century music historian, regarded him as one of the greatest masters of string music. Boccherini’s oeuvre includes hundreds of chamber music pieces, especially highlighting the cello. His innovative contributions significantly shaped the string quartet genre, and he was a pioneer in writing string quintets that incorporated two cellos.

From a young age, Boccherini traveled extensively to secure a living as a musician. A cello prodigy, he debuted at age 13 in his hometown of Lucca, and soon after, he and his father, also a cellist, performed in Vienna to much admiration. By 22, Boccherini was in Paris with a friend, finding a publisher for his early trios and quartets, and earning widespread praise for both his compositions and his virtuosic cello performances.

Encouraged by the Spanish ambassador, he moved to Spain, where he gained the patronage of the infante Don Luis, the king’s brother. Don Luis appointed Boccherini as the “virtuoso of the chamber and composer of music” at his court, which boasted an excellent string quartet. Boccherini introduced a second cello to this ensemble, thus creating his famous quintet formation.

Boccherini spent his later years in Spain, where in 1798, a Spanish nobleman and amateur guitarist commissioned him to adapt some of his quintets, replacing a cello with a guitar. This gave rise to works like the D Major Guitar Quintet, which embodies the qualities that defined Boccherini’s music. The Quintet opens with a Pastorale movement, offering a sweet melody and gentle rhythm that enchant and soothe.

Unlike the thematic development central to Viennese Classical music, Boccherini focused on melody, texture, and color. The energetic Allegro maestoso follows, showcasing the cello’s climb to high registers against a backdrop of rich textures from other instruments. A solemn Grave introduction leads into the vibrant Fandango, a movement inspired by the popular Spanish dance. This piece captures the rhythmic passion of Spain, with Boccherini integrating castanet rhythms to mimic the traditional accompaniment of the dance, making it irresistibly engaging.


Here is another piece by the Carmina Quartet: Boccherini’s “Passa Calle” became famous as Russell Crowe (Capt. Jack Aubrey) and Paul Bettany (Dr. Stephen Maturin) used to play this piece (among others) in Peter Weir’s movie “Master and Commander – The Far Side of the World”).

In this video clip, Susanne Frank, Stephan Goerner (Carmina Quartet), and Rolf Lislevand play the “Passa Calle” (4th movement from Boccherini’s popular “Night music in the streets of Madrid”) in a version for cello, violin, and guitar. A track from Carmina’s latest SACD “Fandango” with music by Haydn and Boccherini.

Boccherini: La Musica Notturna di Madrid – Passa Calle – Carmina Quartet – Rolf Lislevand

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened andantemoderato.com to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this beautiful performance. I discovered your music via a classical music program (Radio Tumbril) on Shortwave Radio Station WRMI broadcasting from Florida.

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