Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lopez-Cobos Conducts Boccherini-Berio

Can one short piece be charming and exciting at the same time? Consider this music: Boccherini's Ritirata notturna di Madrid in an orchestration by Luciano Berio. In this video it gets a fine performance in Madrid - how appropriate - May 5, 2005 with Jesus Lopez-Cobos conducting.

Boccherini originally wrote the piece for string quintet as part of a longer work called "Night music of the Streets of Madrid." The final retreat section depicting the nightly return of the Madrid garrison to its barracks and the beginning of the curfew became enormously popular in the composer's lifetime but he never published it. He said "The piece is ridiculous outside Spain because neither the audience nor the performers can understand or appreciate it."

Boccherini wrote several different versions of the Ritirata. When he orchestrated it Berio took elements of all the different versions and combined them in this wonderful realisation.

Paul E. Robinson

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