A tuneful evening with Boccherini, Glazunov and an ‘extra’ cello.
String Quintets fall into two camps. Those that add a viola to the string quartet, for more of those mellow middle voices, and those that add a cello (as in this concert), to double down on the bass.
Luigi Boccherini was not only one of the 18th-century’s most accomplished and prolific tunesmiths, but a virtuoso cellist. It’s only natural that there’s an ‘extra’ cello in this resonant Quintet in C, composed for the cello-playing King Frederick William II of Prussia. It could be a tour though the grand rooms of a palace – spacious and stately.
While not often heard, Alexander Glazunov’s songful quintet has the dash and drive of youth. Glazunov’s gift for melody – passionate, ethereal and folky – shines through in this gem of Russian Romanticism.