A Ray of Light, a Musical Surprise

Boccherini G490
A short moment. © Charles Thibo

A ray of sunshine after weeks of rain – my soul had been longing for a little light for some time. It came unexpectedly on a Wednesday afternoon. I had just finished to study one of my piano pieces and was about to make myself a cup of tea when the clouds broke open and the sun came through. I left the tea in the cupboard and went outside to enjoy the sun. It inspired me to listen for the first time to a new record I had bought shortly before. It doubled my joy. Luigi Boccherini’s Symphony in D Major (G. 490) is just splendid.

Continue reading!

A Lyrical Companion for Autumn

The last warmth. © Charles Thibo

Here is some lovely music to accompany you through autumn: Luigi Boccherini’s String Quartet No. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 2. The prolific composer had this piece published along with five other quartets in 1761. Babette Kaiserkern, author of a biography on Boccherini, explains that the six quartets are opere grande (large works) with three movements, while other, later quartets only had two movements. Boccherini’s string quartet belongs to those works that made the composer famous all across Europe. They were meant to entertain his masters and of course to be performed by musicians all over the continent.

Continue reading!

A Spanish Evening With a Guitar Wuintet

La Ritirata. © Charles Thibo

I have promised you Boccherini and Boccherini you will get! Such a prolific composer, such an excellent composer, and I always forget to write about him. No more. Matching the evening mood here is some wonderful chamber music for guitar and strings from Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), written in 1799 towards the end of his career and after the death of a powerful patron, the German Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm II.

Continue reading!

Sailing the Oceans with Boccherini

The seashore in Brittany inspired this post. © Charles Thibo
The seashore in Brittany inspired this post. © Charles Thibo

Do you remember the movie “Master and Commander”? HMS Surprise, commanded by Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe), is chasing the French warship “Acheron” around Cape Horn. Being fascinated by sailing ships, I can watch that movie over and over again. When seeing it for the first time, it was a pleasant surprise to see Captain Aubrey and his friend, the biologist Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) acting as the ship’s doctor, play the violin and the cello on board while they try to catch up with the French frigate!
Continue reading!