SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

LUIGI BOCCHERINI: Symphony in D major; Octet for flute or oboe, horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, two cellos; Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 10; Symphony in c minor – Pratum Integrum Orch./ Pavel Serbin, dir. & cello soloist – Caro Mitis

A choice quartet of selections using period instruments, in superb hi-res surround.

Published on April 1, 2013

LUIGI BOCCHERINI: Symphony in D major G. 516 (Op. 37 No. 2); Octet for flute or oboe, horn, bassoon, two violins, viola, two cellos, in G major G 470 (Op. 38 No. 4); Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 10 in D Major G 483; Symphony in c minor G 519 (Op. 41) – Pratum Integrum Orch./ Pavel Serbin, dir. & cello soloist – Caro Mitis multichannel SACD CM 0012010, 77:42 [Distr. by Albany] ****:

This superb Russian octet has put together a fine program of Boccherini instrumental works. Many of Boccherini’s sisters were ballerinas and his nephew was a renowned choreographer, but Boccherini had a limp and instead studied singing and cello from an early age and became a composer-musician. By age 30 he was a highly respected composer who was one of the pioneers of the string quartet and is credited with composing the first string quintets using two cellos.

This is the premiere recording of the Symphony in D, which was commissioned by the cello-playing King Friedrich Wilhelm II, for whom Haydn and Mozart also wrote quartets. It is full of a variety of lovely melodies. The closing Symphony is quite different, with the tutti orchestra predominating and few solos. It also makes economical use of the musical themes. The Cello Concerto has especially rich orchestration, with light use of counterpoint. Its slow movement has special virtuoso cadenzas specified by Boccherini, instead of allowing the performers to improvise their cadenzas, as was the practice at the time.

All the Caro Mitis SACDs feature superb surround sound, courtesy of the Polyhymnia International people. The recordings were made in Moscow in 2010.

—John Sunier




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