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I Love This!,
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This review is from: Boccherini: La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid (MP3 Download)
I heard the same Boccherini tune on the sound track of the movie 'Master and Commander' (2003) and the BBC film 'Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stockings' (2004) - both of which I have on DVD and watched recently. I loved the Boccherini and hunted it down using Sound Hound and Amazon: turned out to be from Boccharini's E Major String Quintet (the Minuet). Plenty of Boccherini to choose from on Amazon but I decided to select a Spanish recording because Boccherini might have been an Italian but he was writing in Spain for the Spanish. Always impatient, I downloaded the MP3 instead of buying the CD so I don't have any sleeve notes, never mind I have instant gratification instead and I am glad I selected download. I have copies on all my devices (Windows, Apple, Android, Ubuntu) and I have been listening to this music pretty continuously these last few days. The recordings are superb, of the highest quality, the music is very easy to listen to and full of great hummable tunes and catchy dance music too - got me up and skipping about, not an everyday event (chuckle). I am no musicologist so I cannot give in-depth critique. In my bluff 'I may not know music but I know what I like' way let me say that the Boccharini on this CD reminds me of Mozart - the Mozart who wrote pleasant, head-nodding, toe-tapping, background music for fashionable salons like "Eine Kliene Nachtmusik" and fabulous music for cuckoo clocks and other odd instruments - i.e. rococo rather than baroque music (simper). Not the Mozart who produced the bleak, harrowing, grand opera "Don Giovanni". I would say that if you like Mozart's catchier tunes e.g. the sinister but delightful duet "Là ci darem la mano" from "Don Giovanni" then you will probably enjoy this Boccherini CD. There's plenty of Spanish flavour with staccato plucked strings and castanets giving a jaunty rhythm to allegro passages. At other times the stringed instruments are played with bows to produce a more lyrical or reflective music which is more understated but just as rewarding. Some moments of high drama and theatricality reminded me of Vivaldi e.g. his summer thunder storm from the Four Seasons. Boccharini also gives us the frantic violins and sudden silences of wonderfully impressionistic music. Plenty of stuff for the imagination to work on - I think this CD might appeal to children, if you are looking for ways to introduce them to classical music. Apologies, I can't write intelligently about music. I feel its effects but don't understand how it is done. I recall a musical chum once trying to explain how you can have eight notes in an octave and play them all on a six-string guitar. Why eight notes?! Why six strings?! I wailed. I gave up trying to understand how music does what it does and content myself with being grateful that it does it. So my music reviews are enthusiastic but dumb, ho-hum. Or should that be ho-diddly-um-hum? Anyway, I will be downloading more Boccharini from now on as a result of listening to these four recordings. And I will be looking out for more from Cuarteto Casals too - clearly four very talented musicians. Verdict: warmly recommended to lovers of C18th music and people who are curious about C18th music and want a place to start.