La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid, L. Boccherini, 1743/18050
Arenas de San Pedro (Ávila), Spring 1780.
From his chamber in the Palace of the Mosquera, Luigi Boccherini saw the impressive mass of stone that rose before his eyes. Rain-laden clouds are mixed without qualms with the extensive snowfields of the Sierra de Gredos, while the cold waters of the Tiétar run with energy through the valley between pine, chestnut and oak.
As a small court musician of the Infante Don Luis Antonio de Borbón and Farnesio, he feels exiled from Madrid, where his patron´s brother, King Carlos III, governs. Gone are the years of his youth, his search for a place in the courts of Vienna and Paris; and the now distant memories of concerts in Milan, with his beloved string quartet, beside Nardini, Manfredi and Cambini
But Boccherini loves the city, loves Madrid. Sitting at the oak table, writing the longed for sound of bells, calling for the Hail Mary; the guitar played by the blind in the markets of the “covachuelas” on Calle Mayor … the clutched rosary in San Felipe el Real. Recreating with pleasure the colourful, joyful, streets travelled by “Goyescos” walking, exhibiting themselves at sunset, and the touch of midnight inviting them to remove themselves for their deserved rest.
Ignacio Botella Ausina