Boccherini String Quartets - Solinger Streichquartett

Solinger Streichquartett
Heiko Schmitz, violin
Almuth Wiesemann, violin
Gunhild Mentges, viola
Peter Lamprecht, violoncello

Recorded in the library of
moated castle Dyck, Germany

Luigi Boccherini - Quartetti Concertanti opus 24
Quartetto No.1 D-major G 189

[1] Moderato (7:00)
[2] Grave (5:37)
[3] Allegro assai (2:35)

Quartetto Nr.6 g-minor G 194
[4] Allegro vivo assai (5:24)
[5] Adagio (5:47)
[6] Minuetto (4:37)

Quartetto Nr.4 C-major G 192
[7] Moderato (7:37)
[8] Larghetto (4:19)
[9] Minuetto (3:19)

The three string quartets here recorded are part of Boccherini’s «Sei Quartetti Concertanti» opus 24. The master wrote them in the years 1776 - 1778. In 1778 the Parisian publisher Sieber printed them for the first time. Two years later they were reprinted by Hummel in Amsterdam, finely engraved, with a magnificent frontispiece. It is very probable that the composer was nevr informed about this Amsterdam edition. There is still no modern edition of this music available. When Boccherini wrote his opus 24 he was number one on the rapidly growing string quartet market. His only serious competitor, Joseph Haydn, was just then going through his famous ten qears’ abstinence from string quartet writing. Both fathers of the string quartet never met each other personally. They exchanged some written compliments, contained in letters which they both wrote to Artaria, the Viennese publisher. Boccherini’s music differs fundamentally from Haydn’s, and follwos other rules. Boccherini expresses himself in a profoundly personal language, which he never changed throughout his life. A few bars of his music - sometimes only a few notes - are sufficient elegance, sound, atmosphere, harmony and instrumental impact are not additions, but essentials. In 1809, four years after Boccherini’s death, Johann Baptist Schaul, a musc lover from Karlsruhe (Germany), writes the following enthusiastic lines:

His music is not for everybody. To appreciate it according to its merit - as is generally the case with quartets and similar pieces - sensitive connoisseurs are necessary, who are open to its rare beauties. Furthermore his music must be played by candlelight in a not too spacious room. The musicians must have rehearsed together for a while and must have, so to speak, extracted from it the essence, which could bring any moribund person back to life. The listeners must be placed at a distance from the players, thus not distracting or disturbing them. The players however, after having tuned their instruments, must withhold from preluding which is so disagreeable to the sensitive ear, and weakens that beautiful and great effect which silence and surprise will so miraculously produce. In short, the whole atmosphere must be as in a sacred place. But then, what music ! There is nothing on earth to equal such a pleasure.

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