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Classical - Released February 22, 2019 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Cellist Ophélie Gaillard and Pulcinella Orchestra focus on Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer and first virtuoso cellist in history. Born in the Tuscany, Boccherini then went to the Court of Prussa and Spain. His musical education looks like a journey around Europe, as it used to be. Long eclipsed by the violin, star of the string instruments, the cello slowly fit in the eighteenth century repertoire thanks to composers who played the instrument themselves. The now famous Suites of Johan Sebastian Bach are the first master pieces composed for the cello. Then Luigi Boccherini strengthened its place in the musical creation, thus becoming to cello what Vivaldi was to the violin one generation earlier. With rhythms of dance from Andalusia and melodies dug along the streets of Madrid, Boccherini draws with notes his adopted country such as his contemporary Francisco Goya did with colours. This double album explores all the genres (concertos, sonatas, symphonies) and invites the gorgeous Sandrine Piau to perform Boccherini’s poignant Stabat Mater for string quintet and solo soprano. © Aparté/Little Tribeca
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Chamber Music - Released April 21, 2015 | Zig-Zag Territoires

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or
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Chamber Music - Released September 21, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released November 6, 2020 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
The musicians of Les Ombres pay tribute to Luigi Boccherini. The free and audacious composer was an insatiable traveler and the inventor of the string quartet whose belatedly acknowledged genius has now earned him a major place in the history of music. © Mirare
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released June 7, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Distinctions Diapason d'or - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Supremely lovely and deeply beautiful, the performances on this two-disc set devoted to the music of Luigi Boccherini are compelling proof that the Italian-Spanish composer was more than a Rococo bantam weight. Beyond his well-known Minuet, Fandango, and "La Ritirada di Madrid" and his enormous number of cheerful cello concertos and sonatas written for the cello-playing Spanish king, Boccherini was also a composer of quartets, quintets, symphonies, and sacred works that rival those of his contemporary Haydn. This coupling of four symphonies, a string quintet, and the Stabat Mater by the Ensemble 415 led from the violin by Chiara Banchini is a wonderful introduction to Boccherini's art. In the three-movement symphonies, Banchini leads strong but sensitive performances that bring out the music's lyrical themes, subtle colors, and elegant shapes. With sweet-voiced soprano Agnés Mellon, Banchini finds within a strict sequence of recitatives and arias the sorrow, pity, and unshakable faith in the Stabat Mater. But perhaps best of all is the Quintet in C minor, Op. 31/4. The immensity of its grief, the austerity of its themes, and the intensity of expression is musically and emotionally overwhelming. Recorded in 1988 and 1991 in Harmonia Mundi's clearest, coolest sound, this two-disc set should be heard by anyone with an interest in music in the second half of the eighteenth century. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 2, 2017 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
It was probably his 91 string quartets, his 110 quintets with two cellos, his 12 quintets with two violas, 3 quintets for double bass and 6 string sextets composed from 1771 to 1795 that earned Boccherini his place in history. But the musician also experimented with other combinations, including twelve quintets with piano and no fewer than 42 string trios. It is these trios, much-overlooked by today's musicians and music lovers, which are brought together by the La Retirata ensemble, who use instruments and styles of play as they were in Boccherini's day. Specifically, the record covers two of the Op 35, written in 1781 and published the following year. In those days, Boccherini was a composer in the employ of the Infante Luis de Borbón, whom he had followed to a sort of retreat twenty-five leagues from Madrid (the Infante was having an affair with a lady of the lower nobility, which was impermissible at the Spanish court); he would stay there until 1785 when, one after the other, both the composer's wife and then the Infante died, whereupon he returned to Madrid. The maturity of these works bears witness to the great instrumental art that Boccherini had developed over decades, his inexhaustible melodic inspiration, his harmonic daring and the inexpressible charm of his language, which defies classification. We note that the cello, far from being confined to bass parts, is often given a semi-concertante role, accompanied by two violins: a bravura piece of writing that demonstrates beyond all doubt that the composer was one of the greatest cellists of his time. The La Retirata ensemble, rather than restricting itself to standard versions (too often full of errors, approximations and inappropriate editorial additions), has preferred here to base itself on the oldest manuscripts available: an excellent initiative. © SM/Qobuz
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Chamber Music - Released April 12, 2019 | Naxos

Hi-Res Booklet
Luigi Boccherini's Stabat mater of 1781 was forgotten by all but scholars for two centuries and more, but it has been undergoing a modest revival. His melodies are often extremely catchy, lacking only the feeling that death is the mother of beauty to make them the equal of Mozart's. The Stabat mater is a lovely work in a perhaps unique medium, soprano and string quintet, which would make it ideal for small-scale church and campus presentations. The intimacy of the medium is matched by the music, with the soprano beginning quietly and mournfully (sample the first movement and you may find yourself wondering how this work could have been missing from the repertory for so long), building as it proceeds to more passionate expressions of grief. There are several other recent recordings to consider besides this American one from soprano Dominique Labelle and the Sarasa Ensemble. The chief advantage of this one is the presence of two other strong Boccherini chamber works, one of which, the String Quintet in F minor, Op. 42, No. 1, had direct melodic connections to the Stabat mater. You can choose from among the sopranos according to your taste, but other versions by Dorothee Mields and Sophie Karthäuser may be preferable to Labelle, who leans into major vibrato on almost every note. The engineering, from a church in West Andover, Massachusetts, may be appropriate in its general ambiance, but it produces a muddy, indistinct result. Still a worthwhile reading of a still-underexposed work. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2000 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released December 30, 2016 | naïve classique

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Claves Records

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Alia Vox

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released April 28, 2015 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Classical - Released July 31, 2007 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released January 30, 2009 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
This could be the best disc of Boccherini's chamber music ever recorded. Whereas most ensembles seem to hold to the idea that Boccherini was a more charming but less profound Haydn, Europa Galante plays Boccherini like he's a sophisticated composer who was a moody and mercurial master in his own right. Led by violinist Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante delivers performances of tremendous tonal beauty and revelatory soul. A portion of its success is attributable to the choice of repertoire. Instead of the lighter Boccherini fare, Biondi has picked a String Quintet in C minor, a String Sextet in F minor, and a String Quartet in C minor, and, as dessert, a String Trio in D major. But though the pieces are expressive in themselves, Biondi and his groups' brilliantly played and strongly argued performances make them come vibrantly alive. Captured in richly detailed and astoundingly vivid digital sound, this disc deserves to be heard by anyone who relishes great chamber music and great chamber music performances. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Alpha

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
In the words of cellist and director Bruno Cocset, the concept behind this disc of Boccherini cello concertos and sonatas is as follows: "I imagined the composer meeting up with the members of Les Basses Réunies [Cocset's ensemble], stopping off, or rather making a detour, on his way from Paris to Madrid to visit us at my home in Brittany!" Although as concepts go, this one may appear particularly far-fetched, as performances go, these cannot be beat. By stripping down Boccherini's scoring in the two concertos to a six-piece chamber ensemble and in the three sonatas to trio of two cellos plus guitar, Cocset has emphasized the lyrical and the introverted over the virtuosic and the extroverted and thereby made the music seem more warmly intimate and more immensely appealing than ever. This is not to say that virtuosity is lacking -- Cocset and Les Basses are all first-rank players and Cocset gets plenty of chances to strut his stuff in Boccherini's cadenzas -- but it is to say that the affectionate interplay among the musicians is as attractive as the music. Listen to the way the soloist and the concertante bob and weave over, under, around, and through each other in the opening Allegro of the A major Concerto. Listen to the way the soloist and the guitarist blend and balance each other in the cadenza of the closing Allegro of the B flat major Sonata. This is music-making of the highest order exactly because it presents the best possible case for the music. Alpha's sound is, once again, utterly translucent. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released August 31, 1994 | BIS

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Symphonies - Released June 29, 2010 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2016 | Brilliant Classics

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Classical - Released October 28, 1999 | Naxos

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