Cello Concerto : Work information

(Ridolfo) Luigi Boccherini ( Music, Images,)
Friedrich (Wilhelm Ludwig) Grützmacher ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Pinchas Zukerman (Performer), Yo-yo Ma (Performer), Pinchas Zukerman (Conductor), Yo-yo Ma (Acoustic Cello), Richard Einhorn (Producer), The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (Performer)

This work

Work name
Cello Concerto
Work number
G. 482, G. 565, G. 480
B flat
1770-01-01 02:01:00

This recording

Recording date

Track listing

  • Allegro moderato 8:45 min
  • Adagio 6:26 min
  • Rondo. Allegro 4:46 min


This is Boccherini's best known Cello Concerto, however the version most familiar to people is actually a compilation of parts of three different Boccherini works with arrangements and additional compostion added around 1895 by Grutzmacher.   The original parts are part of a sonata and two different concertos, the work numbers of which appear above. 


The Composers

(Ridolfo) Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Boccherini was born in Lucca into an artistic family - his brother Giovan wrote libretti for Haydn and Salieri and his father taught him music from an early age.  He continued his studies first in Rome and then in Vienna, where he and his father were employed at the court theatre.  By 1764 he was gaining recognition as a composer and took an appointment back home in Lucca.  There his oratorios were occasionally performed, and he was granted leave to travel to Milan to perform with musicians such as Sammartini.

A concert tour in 1766 led to patronage from a wealthy Baron and the publication of several works by a company in Paris.  After a residency there, Boccherini travelled to Madrid, possibly at the behest of the Spanish ambassador in Paris, where he was eventually employed by the Infante Don Luis as a result of numerous dedications.  It was during the next decade that Boccherini enjoyed his greatest period of creativity, having agreed to write exclusively for Don Luis in return for a salary and permission to publish further works.  Don Luis' death in 1785 reduced Boccherini's income to a half-pension from Charles III, forcing him to find employment elsewhere.  He served Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and began cataloguing his own works, possibly with a view to providing his patron with a complete library of them.

Boccherini's later years were marked by tragedy, with the death of his wife and sons and crushing poverty leading to deep depression.  However he continued to compose and his music was still in great demand in Paris.  He died in 1805 from a respiratory illness which had in all likelihood been present for years.

Boccherini's positions at court led him to write a great deal of chamber music - when cataloguing his own work he omitted his own vocal works, and unusually for a composer of the time this was no great omission.  Although he wrote over 100 string quintets, 100 string quartets and 26 symphonies there is no towering masterwork to mark his artistic status - his music is gracious and elegant and he is known mainly by the insubstantial minuet from his String Quintet in E major, Op. 11 No. 5.

Friedrich (Wilhelm Ludwig) Grützmacher

Grützmacher went in 1860 to Drensden, where he replaced Kummer as solo cellist and was later appointed "Kammervirtuos" to the King of Saxony.

He reamined at Dresden for over 40 years, making frequent tours in Europe and Russia as a soloist and in chamber music, and becoming an asteemed and influential teacher.

He owned a Stradivari and an Amati.