This introductory chapter explains the theme of this volume, which is about the works of Italian composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini. It analyzes the striking qualities of Boccherini's music including its virtuosity, repetitiveness, obsessively nuanced dynamics, delicate sonorities and rich palette of melancholy affects. It discusses the concept of carnal musicology and attempts to redefine the temperament of the musical Enlightenment as one characterized by urgent, volatile inquiries into the nature of the self.
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