Boccherini, Lewis

, an eminent musical composer, was born at Lucca, Jan. 14, 1740, where he resided till 1768, when he went to Paris, and where he continued till 1780. He then removed to Madrid, where he died in 1806. His instrument was the violoncello, and he has perhaps supplied the performers on bowed-instruments and lovers of music with more excellent compositions than any master of the present age, except Haydn. His style is at once bold, masterly, and elegant. There are movements in his works, of every style, and in the true genius of the instruments for which he writes, that place him high in rank among the greatest masters who have ever written for the violin or violoncello. There i$ perhaps no instrumental music more ingenious, elegant, and pleasing, than his quintets; in which invention, grace, modulation, and good taste, conspire to render them, when well executed, a treat for the most refined hearers and critical judges of musical composition. The works of this excellent composer would be of use to judicious collectors, as his genius, taste, and judgment were too fertile and refined, to suffer him to commit to paper frivolous or indigested thoughts. His productions of forty years ago have lost nothing of their worth, nor will forty years more wholly deprive them of their bloom. They consist of fifty-eight collections of symphonies, quintets, &c. In the religious cast he has only one piece, a “Stabat mater.2


Biog. Universelle.—Dr. Burney in Rees’s Cyclopedia.