Boccherini was one of the most prolific composers to ever come out of Italy, and his compositions for the cello (either as a solo instrument or as significant members of chamber ensembles) were more numerous than practically any composer. Although he wrote at least 12 concertos for the instrument, only one -- the B flat major concerto -- is still played with any regularity. Because of its familiarity, listeners will no doubt immediately notice the order of works listed on the jacket of this album is incorrect. Tactus lists the D major concerto first and the B flat major concerto second, even though the opposite is true. As for the performances themselves, the sound produced by the small Ensemble Respighi is rather charming and appropriate for these two concertos. However, intonation is occasionally problematic and is all the more noticeable because of its small size. Soloist Franco Maggio-Ormezowski runs into similar problems; his sound is usually quite lovely, but intonation is not always precise and he too often falls for the traps that Grützmacher (who arranged the B flat concerto) left for him and tries to force a heavy, Romantic sound from his instrument. The two symphonies (which are listed in the correct order) are more successful from a performance standpoint -- intonation is more reliable and the overall sound of the orchestra is much rounder -- but they are less memorable compositions than the preceding concertos.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Cello Concerto in B flat major (arranged by Friedrich Grützmacher)|
|Cello Concerto in D major, G. 479|
|Symphony in D major, G. 490|
|Symphony in D minor ("La casa del diavolo"), G. 506 (Op. 12/4)|