Ingenious, elegant, and pleasing – a treat for the most refined listeners and critical judges of musical composition’. Thus wrote Charles Burney in the 18th century about the music of Luigi Boccherini. Here, three centuries later, the renowned cellist Steven Isserlis, in his Foreword to Luigi Boccherini – Musica Amorosa, invites you to enter anew that world of ‘sweet, joyous clarity’ and ‘fathomless beauty’ that endow Boccherini’s rococo style. ‘This’, says Isserlis, ‘is the music of angels’.
Born in 1743 in Italy, in Lucca, famed for its long and distinguished musical tradition, Boccherini spent two thirds of his life in Spain, a vibrant influence that perfuses many of his works. A composer of symphonies, chamber music and vocal works, he excelled as well in creating many sonatas and concertos for the cello. A pioneer in his day of modern cello playing, Boccherini introduced techniques that greatly heightened the cello’s range and depth of expression. Incorporating recent international research, this comprehensive new biography sets the composer in his historical context during the turbulent social changes that accompanied the end of the ancien régime and the dawn of the republican era.