Boccherini / Ruhadze / Gorban - Complete Duets For 2 Violins | RECORD STORE DAY

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The name Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) does not immediately bring to mind such modest works as violin duos, but alongside his large output of trios, quartets and quintets for stringed instruments, Boccherini's oeuvre also features two sets of six pieces for two violins. One set was composed at the beginning of his compositional career, in 1761 - that is, before his 20th birthday - and published some years later, in 1768, in Paris by Louis-Balthazar de La Chevardiere, under the title Six duos pour deux violons, with the opus number 5. Later, the same collection is described by the composer as his Opus 3. And then there is a second, much later collection with arrangements for two violins of other compositions of his originally written for three or five stringed instruments. The latter set was published by Ignace Pleyel in Paris in 1799 - just a few years before his death - under the similar title Six duos pour deux violons, with opus number 46. Unsurprisingly, the two sets are very different in character. Boccherini's Duets Op. 3 all consist of three movements. Five of them begin with a fast movement, in a major key. Then follows a slow movement in a different key, sometimes major, sometimes minor. And, finally, there is most often a minuet, in a characteristic 3/4 time, with a tempo between slow and fast. The first duet in the set, however, follows a different model: it starts with a slow movement, a fast movement follows and finally there is a light-hearted 'Presto'. We know the year of composition of the Duets Op. 3, and we know for sure that they are works by Boccherini. Regarding the Violin Duets Op. 46, however, there are still some question marks. We know that they were published in 1799 by the Parisian publisher Ignace Pleyel, but they are missing from the catalogue compiled by Boccherini himself of his own works. That does not necessarily mean that they are not from his hand. Boccherini regularly arranged his own compositions for other instrumental combinations, and these are systematically missing from his catalogue. And these arrangements are not simply reductions of the original compositions for two violins: in many cases they are thorough re-compositions based on the original material. This last aspect in particular contributes to the assumption that the arranger was Boccherini himself: arrangers who are not the original composer usually leave the structure of the composition intact in their arrangements. In the case of Boccherini's Duets Op. 46, as it were, new compositions were created. Boccherini's violin duets are perhaps not among his best-known compositions. For the Duets Op. 3 one has to go back quite far into the past to find a recording on LP or CD. The Duets Op. 46 have never been recorded on LP or CD. It's high time, then, for a CD featuring these charming and melodious works. Other information:- Recorded October, November & December 2021, Velp, Netherlands- Booklet in English contains liner notes by Rudolf Rasch and profiles of the violinists- The recording of the Opus 3 Duets is based on the critical edition of these works in Volume 29 of the series Luigi Boccherini: Opera Omnia, published in 2007 by Ut Orpheus Edizioni (Bologna)- The Dutch liner notes are available for download at www. Brilliantclassics. com- A much-underrated composer, Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) was one of the leading composers of the late 18th century, a friend and colleague of both Haydn and Mozart, and a formidable cello virtuoso. Although less dramatic than either Haydn or Mozart, his music does have moments of explosive drama that appear all the more effective when bursting fortissimo from an otherwise calm movement. The harmonic shifts are also surprising and used to great effect. His music is sensuous, charming and highly melodious, yet may be passionate and dramatic as well. - This new recording presents the complete Duets for two violins by Boccherini. Originally conceived as study material, these works far transcend this aim, as they are challenging, skillfully written compositions, brimming with good tunes and blazing vitality. - Played by Igor Ruhadze and Daria Gorban, specialized in Baroque repertoire, having recorded the complete works by Locatelli and works by Nardini. Rugadze's recording of the Boccherini violin sonatas on Brilliant Classics received 5 stars in the French Diapason.