One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Sonate per il violoncello Volume 2
Cello Sonata No.3 in G, G5 [11:50]
Cello Sonata in c minor, G2 [14:57]
Cello Sonata No.5 in F, G1 [13:21]
Cello Sonata No.1 in A, G13 [14:01]
Cello Sonata in B-flat, G12 [13:09]
Bruno Cocset (cello)
Les Basses Réunies
rec. 28 October-2 November 2017, Chapelle Auditorium des Carmes, Vannes (France-Bretagne-Morbihan). DDD.
Reviewed as mp3 press preview and as streamed with booklet from Naxos Music Library.
ALPHA 409 [67:23] 

It’s some considerable time since this team gave us Volume 1, containing Boccherini’s Cello Concertos in G (G480) and A (G475) and the Cello Sonatas in B-flat (G565), C (G17) and A (G4), recorded in 2004 and released on ALPHA084. Two sonatas and one concerto from this album, G565, G480 and G17, were reissued in 2017 on a budget-price 5-CD set with book, available for around £36/$28 (ALPHA890, Cello Stories). Tully Potter – review – singled out the three Boccherini works as the cherries on that cake (my words) and even suggested the original CD as the best option. Now the cherry-pickers have a second volume and, if anything, it’s even more attractive than the first. Unfortunately, however, all that remain generally available of Volume 1 are the three pieces contained on the multi-CD set.

Most of the recent releases from Bruno Cocset and his team have been reissues on the mid-price Alpha Baroque Masterpieces label, as in the case of the Barrière Cello Sonatas on ALPHA330 in 2017 – review: NB the link no longer applies to this or any Alpha recordings. Cocset’s 1998 recording of the Vivaldi Cello Sonatas is well worth obtaining (ALPHA313 – review DL News 2015/9), even despite the overlap with another reissue in the same series from Marco Ceccato and Accademia Ottoboni (ALPHA325 – review) and a budget twofer from Hyperion (CDD22065 – review).

Bruno Cocset’s Boccherini, on a specially constructed ‘Boccherini Bel Canto’ cello (Charles Riché, 2004) remains as much in the top rank as on Volume 1, but the support from Les Basses Réunies is more varied on this second volume, with two kinds of fortepiano, each appearing in one sonata (G2, and bringing out the galant style in G12), and harpsichord in G1, while the second cello provides the rounded continuo in G1, G5, G12 and G13. Boccherini seems to have kept his cards close to his chest as to how these works were to be performed, but Cocset’s solution makes ample sense.

Christian and Sebastian Benda, the latter on fortepiano, for all the quality of the playing, sound a little threadbare by comparison in Boccherini’s G2 on ‘Volume 1’ (8.554324; Volume 2 never seems to have materialised). Subscribers to Naxos Music Library can stream both that and the new Alpha.

Normally I might have counselled against playing all five sonatas in one go, but the variety in the support compensates for an all-sonata disc which might otherwise be at a disadvantage when the predecessor had two concertos to vary the sonata theme. There was also a guitar in the mix on Volume 1 – an instrument which features in much of Boccherini’s music – and I’m a little surprised that we didn’t have one again, but that’s my only small reservation. A more important reservation concern the fact that one dealer is asking as much as £17.06 for this CD, almost 50% more than others.  Why?

The texts employed are those in the important collection in the Milan Music Conservatoire; though, as Cocset notes, none of these has been identified as in Boccherini’s hand, they provide the best source.

The notes in the booklet by Yves Gérard, editor of the standard catalogue, hence the ‘G’ numbers, are very welcome; they are also decently translated into English.

The sound is OK even in the pathetic 160kb/s mp3 press preview – why do the Outhere group continue to think this acceptable for reviewers? It’s much better and closer to CD quality as streamed in 320kb/s from Naxos Music Library, but it would be better still if Outhere were to give reviewers at least 16-bit sound; BIS, Linn1, Chandos and Hyperion all make 24-bit available, sometimes even in 24/192 format to allow us to give the recording its due.

I enjoyed this new release enough to regret that Volume 1 is now available only partially and in a 5-CD set; perhaps Alpha will reissue it separately in the near future in their mid-price series. Perhaps, too, we shall be treated to a third volume without having to wait so long – in another thirteen years I’m unlikely to be around and certainly not compos mentis enough to review it.

1 Now that Linn are part of the Outhere group, their new releases also reach me in 160kb/s mp3. Given their reputation in the audio field, I’m pleased that I can also obtain their 24-bit downloads. Quelle différence!

Brian Wilson

Performer details
Emmanuel Jacques (cello continuo, G1/5/12/13)
Maude Gratton (fortepiano, G2, mechanism with wooden hammers, G12, mechanism with leather-covered hammers)
Bertrand Cuiller (harpsichord, G1)



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger