Critical Reception Of Boccherini's Music, 1776-1847
With English Translations

This collection of 18th- and 19th-century commentary on Boccherini's work (and occasionally on his person) is intended to give as detailed and wide-ranging a picture as possible of the ways in which this composer's music was understood and appreciated, from 1776 (date of the earliest published criticism) until 1851, publication date of the first biography of the composer by Louis Picquot. In order to extend contextualization a little further, I include extracts from works to which Boccherini's music was more-or-less specifically compared: Edward Young, Salomon Gessner.

In a number of cases, further discussion of these excerpts and their authors may be found in my book, Boccherini's Body: an Essay in Carnal Musicology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).

This web site is a work in progress. As further sources become known or available, I hope to add them to this collection. I am always grateful for contributions, emendations, or commentary, and welcome correspondence toward that end, at