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Boccherini’s Body

An Essay in Carnal Musicology

Elisabeth Le Guin (Author)

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Hardcover, 374 pages
ISBN: 9780520240179
November 2005
$85.00, £62.95
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In this elegant study of the works of the undeservedly neglected composer Luigi Boccherini, Elisabeth Le Guin uses knowledge gleaned from her own playing of the cello as the keystone of her original approach to the relationship between music and embodiment. In analyzing the striking qualities of Boccherini's music—its virtuosity, repetitiveness, obsessively nuanced dynamics, delicate sonorities, and rich palette of melancholy affects—Le Guin develops a historicized critical method based on the embodied experience of the performer. In the process, she redefines the temperament of the musical Enlightenment as one characterized by urgent, volatile inquiries into the nature of the self. A CD of sound examples, performed by the author and her string quartet, is included with the book.
List of Illustrations
List of Music Examples
CD Playlist
Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. “Cello-and-Bow Thinking”: The First Movement of Boccherini’s Cello Sonata in E Major, G. 566
2. “As My Works Show Me to Be”: Biographical
3. Gestures and Tableaux
4. Virtuosity, Virtuality, Virtue
5. A Melancholy Anatomy
6. “It Is All Cloth of the Same Piece”: The Early String Quartets
7. The Perfect Listener: A Re-creation

Appendix: Chronological Table of String Quartets
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Elisabeth Le Guin is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an internationally respected Baroque cellist.
“What is exciting here are the strategies that Le Guin employs in this project, strategies radical and thoughtful and that also make for very engaging reading. . . . Succeeds as work of cultural criticism, as a proving ground for new scholarly methodologies, and as a generous piece of writing. “—Early Music America
“Including numerous lengthy musical examples and a CD, this is one of the most interesting and enlightening books on music this reviewer has encountered in the last several years.”—S. Edwards, Delgado Community College Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries
“Elisabeth Le Guin’s remarkable book is a quantum leap forward. As a well-trained musicologist, a gifted writer, and an effective professional performer on the cello, Le Guin offers not only painstaking historical research into Boccherini’s career as composer and virtuoso performer, but what she calls “cello-and-bow thinking” about the experience of rehearsing and performing his works.”—Stds In Romanticism
"Boccherini’s Body is extremely important, both for its new directions and for its unique combination of interests. It offers a considerable amount of little-known material, and does so daringly and skillfully. Le Guin is a joy to read."—John Butt, author of Playing With History

"Virtuoso writing by a professional performer, this book unites history, biography, cultural studies, and a physically-lived sense of Boccherini's music. It is a work of unusual scholarly imagination; not only does it bring an under-studied body of music to light, but it also introduces new ways to think about performance in historical context."—Mary Hunter, author of the Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart's Vienna

"Le Guin's book is an adventure in new forms of musical analysis, with a beguilingly passionate, yet rigorous style of philosophical introspection. Her book explodes old analytical paradigms, attending to the technologies and erotics of musical performance in ways some have wanted to do but none have achieved as Le Guin has. This book will catapult Le Guin to stardom."—Martha Feldman, author of City Culture and the Madrigal at Venice
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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro). Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 6:46. Examples 1 and 2.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 5–7. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:11. Example 1.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 8–11. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:12. Example 1.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 18–22. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:16. Example 1.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 26–29. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:15. Example 1.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 11–18. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:32. Example 1.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 36–38. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:12. Example 2.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 45–51. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:32. Example 2.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 59– 62. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:16. Example 2.

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String Quartet in A Major, op. 8, no. 6, G. 170, i (Allegro brillante), bars 11–17. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:32. Example 5.

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String Quartet in D Minor, op. 9, no. 2, G. 172, ii (Larghetto), bars 13–23. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:35. No example.

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String Quartet in D Major, op. 8, no. 1, G. 165, ii (Adagio), opening. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:36. No example.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, ii (Larghetto), opening. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 1:26. No example.

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String Quartet in A Major, op. 8, no. 6, G. 170, iii (Allegro maestoso), bars 48–57. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:19. Example 7.

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String Quartet in Eb Major, op. 9, no. 4, G. 174, i (Adagio), bars 1–38. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 2:11. No example.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 28–34. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:57. Example 22.

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String Quartet in D Minor, op. 9, no. 2, G. 172, i (Grave), opening. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:37. No example.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato). Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 7:12. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato), bar 5. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:05. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato), bar 27. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:05. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato), bars 33–34. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:11. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato), bars 35–38. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:23. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, i (Moderato), bars 45–46. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:17. Example 11.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio). Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 3:13. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio), bars 5–8. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:30. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio), bars 9–11. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:17. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio), bars 13–16. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:35. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio), bars 18–23. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:26. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, ii (Adagio), bars 23–25. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:18. Example 12.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, iii (Rondò). Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 4:13. Example 14.

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Cello Sonata in C Major, G. 17, iii (Rondò), bars 112–51. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:45. Example 14.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, ii (Largo assai). Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 5:58. No example.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, iii (Allegretto assai), opening. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:28. No example.

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Cello Sonata in Eb Major, fuori catalogo, i (Allegro), bars 45–51. Elisabeth Le Guin (vcl), Charles Sherman (hps). Length: 0:32. Example 2.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 9, no. 3, G. 173, iii (Tempo di minuetto), minuet. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 2:03. No example.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 9, no. 3, G. 173, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 1:20. No example.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 9, no. 3, G. 173, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio, bars 46–50. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:09. No example.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 9, no. 3, G. 173, iii (Tempo di minuetto), minuet D.C. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 1:05. No example.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, i (Allegro). Artaria String Quartet. Length: 5:48. Example 19.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, i (Allegro), bars 32–38. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:24. Example 19.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, i (Allegro), bars 38–41. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:13. Example 19.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, i (Allegro), bars 44–47. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:14. Example 19.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio, bars 37–44. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:24. Example 20.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio, bars 45–52. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:25. Example 20.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio, bars 53– 60. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:26. Example 20.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, iii (Tempo di minuetto), trio, bars 61– 94. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:50. Example 20.

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String Quartet in D Major, op. 8, no. 1, G. 165, i (Allegro assai), bars 29–36. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:17. Example 21.

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String Quartet in C Minor, op. 9, no. 1, G. 171, i (Allegro), bars 58– 60. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:13. Example 19.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave). Artaria String Quartet. Length: 5:05. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bar 2. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:09. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 4–5. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:13. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 6–10. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:32. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 13–14. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:15. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 38–42. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:42. Example 22.

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String Quartet in G Minor, op. 8, no. 4, G. 168, ii (Grave), bars 15–21. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:50. Example 22.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, ii (Allegro), bars 85– 96. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:21. Example 23a.

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String Quartet in F Major, op. 8, no. 5, G. 169, iii (Tempo di minuetto), bars 7–15. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:15. Example 23b.

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String Quartet in Eb Major, op. 9, no. 4, G. 174, i (Adagio), bars 13–19. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:24. Example 24.

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String Quartet in Eb Major, op. 8, no. 3, G. 167, i (Largo [soto (sic) voce]), bars 22–24. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:23. Example 25.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, ii (Prestissimo), bars 23–50. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:23. Example 27.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino). Artaria String Quartet. Length: 6:55. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 43–54. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:25. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 54– 60. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:15. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, ii (Prestissimo). Artaria String Quartet. Length: 2:21. Example 27.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, ii (Prestissimo), bars 63–73. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:09. Example 27.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 14–19. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:12. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 23–28. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:13. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 86– 92. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:17. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 29–36. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:16. Example 26.

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String Quartet in E Major, op. 15, no. 3, G. 179, i (Andantino), bars 94– 98. Artaria String Quartet. Length: 0:10. Example 26.

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