Movement 1: Allegro con moto
Movement 2: Minuetto con moto – Trio – Minuetto da capo
Movement 3: Grave
Movement 4: Rondeau: Allegro con moto
The first movement’s opening bravura trills from the first cello set the scene for a display of cello fireworks throughout the whole work, which never sacrifices lyricism for mere showing off. The ‘trotting music’ that re-appears in many of Boccherini works conjures up the scenic, mountainous journeys to and from Madrid. The minuet, placed second, starts in optimistic mood but the trio brings a pall of sadness through a reflective soliloquy for the first cello in the minor key. The Grave is a place of tranquillity among the other three movements, all marked con moto. The intimacy of the music in this movement is of a purity and serenity that is so tender as to be almost unbearable. It demands the well-known rondeau that follows as a ‘tiramisu’; dispelling any notion of self-indulgence, it celebrates the recurrent nature of life itself.
from notes by Keith Pascoe © 2003