Luigi Boccherini

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Boccherini, Luigi

(lo͞oē`jē bôk-kĕrē`nē), 1743–1805, Italian composer and cellist. Together with the violinist Filippo Manfredi he made a highly successful concert tour of Italy and France. After 1769 he was a composer and cellist in Spanish courts. He also served as composer to Frederick William II of Prussia (1787–97) and then returned to Madrid. Boccherini wrote more than 400 works, including 4 cello concertos, about 90 string quartets and about 125 string quintets. His chamber music, displaying complete mastery of the classical style, is remarkable for natural, expressive melodies and fluent instrumental writing. His famous minuet is from the String Quintet Op. 13, No. 4. Boccherini's style is often compared to that of Haydn, and the two composers admired each other's work.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Boccherini, Luigi


Born Feb. 19, 1743, in Lucca; died May 28,1805, in Madrid. Italian composer and cellist. Son of a musician.

Boccherini gave many concerts (in Spain, France, and Germany). Beginning in late 1768 (or the beginning of 1769), he was court musician in Madrid. He established the cello as a solo instrument. He composed symphonies (about 30), chamber instrumental works (about 400), compositions for the cello, and other works. In several chamber compositions he used Spanish folklore. Boccherini’s cello concertos and sonatas are classic examples of the solo instrumental music of the 18th century.


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Ginzburg, L. Istoriia violonchel’nogo iskusstva: Kniga pervaia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950. Pages 362–414.
Rotshild, G. de. L. Boccherini. Paris, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.