Luigi Boccherini

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Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Boccherini was a prolific composer, particularly of chamber music with a distinctive and highly wrought style, and he is the chief representative of Latin instrumental music during the Viennese Classical period. Boccherini was also an exceptional cellist.

Luigi Boccherini (his baptismal first name Rudalfo was never used) was the son of a cello or double bass player, Leopoldo Boccherini. Luigi was born in Lucca, Italy in February 19, 1743. The Boccherini family had considerable artistic gifts. Luigi's brother Giovan Gastone (1742-1800) was a poet and a dancer, Luigi's sister Maria Ester had a distinguished career in Vienna as a ballet dancer. Boccherini first studied music on the cello with his father. Then Luigi's father, "Leopoldo handed over Luigi to the Abbate Vanucci, maestro di cappella of the cathedral" (Rothschild 3). Vanucci taught at the seminary of San Martino. Luigi made his first debut as a cellist at the age of 13 and was later played at the local feast day celebrations. In 1757 Luigi went to Rome presenting himself to the cellist Constanzi, maestro di capella at St. Peters. Luigi played for Canstanzi, and after hearing Luigi, Constanzi disn't hesitate to take Luigi as a student. After about a year in Rome Luigi and his father were asked to go to Vienna to play in the orchestra of the imperial capital at the court theatre. "Luigi and his father stayed with the Imperial theatre from December 1757 to October 1758" (Rothschild 9). After leaving Vienna, Luigi returned to his studies in Rome. Again Luigi and his father returned to play in the orchestra. Luigi then returned to Lucca in the spring of 1760. In 1763 Luigi returned to Vienna for a third time, by this time his reputation was grow...

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... destroyed in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Among the destroyed was Boccherini's catalogue of music. But fortunately Alfredo Boccherini published a catalogue of his great grandfather's works in 1879. Boccherini began this catalogue in 1760 and worked on it up until his death in 1805.


Works Cited

Parker, Mara, "Current Musicology" Dept. of Music Columbia University, New York, 1993.

Pincherle, Marc. Luigi Boccherini; his life his works. New York, W.W. Norton 1957.

Rothschild, Germaine de, Luigi Boccherini. Oxford Univeristy Press, London, 1965.

Sadie, Stanley. New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Macmillan Publishers, New York, 1980, Vol. 2.

Slonimsky, Nicolas, Bakers Bibliographical Dictionary of Music. Macmillan Publishers, New York 1978.

Talbot, Micheal. "Boccherini Conference" Early Music. V. 19 n3, August 1991, 494(4).

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