Expect the unexpected

Luigi Boccherini is most commonly known for the minuet in his String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5 (G 275). In true LeapingTracks style, I have sometng completely different on my iPhone – a selection of his Quintets for Guitar and Strings (numbers 2, 4, 6 and 9 in particular).

And very beautiful they are too.

Boccherini wrote lots of chamber music. His guitar quintets were often influenced by spanish music, which brings an interesting dimension to the more traditional style of music we might expect to be written at the end of the eighteenth century. Everything is still delicate and precise. But there is an added sense of flourish and colour.

The fourth Quintet in D Major G448, entitled ‘Fandango’ completely lives up to its name. It is full of Spanish drama. The final movement even has some fabulous castanets. A long way from the niceties of the op 11 minuet. What fun the musicians of the day must have had performing this work in contrast to their more standard fare. Go Boccherini!

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