In 1795 Boccherini composed four "grand sonatas" for King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, an avid amateur musician and good cellist. These sonatas were published as opus 52. Despite being called "grand sonatas," which implied six movement works, they are all four movement quartets after Haydn's design, with a minuet that in this case comes second.
Boccherini is today regarded as a transitional figure from the Classical to the Romantic age. He keeps the clear forms and mannerly sounds of the former era, but his melodies and expression is often more sentimental and introverted, with occasional appearances of fiery emotions even this early in his music. An aspect of the Romantic era that makes its appearance here is the pioneering use of a cyclic form: The opening theme of the first movement reappears in the finale of the work, just before the final bars. This sort of binding device is very common among Romantic composers.