Different stages in the life of Luigi Boccherini are clearly mapped out in the music he wrote. None more so than the 6 String Trios, Op 34 written around 1781 – at the time of the Stabat mater – during the nine-year period when the composer forsook the precariousness of life within the hustle and bustle of Madrid for the tranquillity of Arenas de San Pedro, nearer Ávila, as he followed his patron, the Infante Luis de Borbón, in the latter’s banishment from the Spanish court. In conditions of comfort for himself and his young family Boccherini prospered on the artistic level as well: some 80 compositions emerged, many for the regular chamber music performances called for by the Enlightened prince, the maecenas also for painters such as Goya, Flipart and Paret. In a pair of its earlier recordings, newly remastered and now appearing on Glossa, La Ritirata demonstrates complete sympathy with the Classical- era intentions of a composer in full maturity: no surprise when the three players are of the calibre of violinists Hiro Kurosaki and Lina Tur Bonet and cellist Josetxu Obregón. In this string trio configuration, Boccherini demanded great technical skill from the musicians, notably from the cello part (he was a virtuoso on the instrument himself) and requiring it to take on much of the role assumed by the viola in a quartet. Pervading all is the composer’s melodic invention, his preference for the galant style and the harmonic boldness which together assured his popularity throughout Europe at the time.