Luigi Boccherini was an Italian cellist and composer. He was born into a family which encouraged music and other arts. He and his siblings developed great artistic skill under their parents influence. Boccherini would become one of the most well known cellists of his time.
Early classical sonatas were only two movements rather than the four movement form that is seen later. They typically start with a slow and extended introductory movement before the faster movement. This tradition continues into many of Beethoven's cello sonatas. Boccherini was a great cellist and this piece shows some of the techniques that he used. He uses many ornaments and sequences like the late baroque composers. Unlike many baroque composers, he uses the higher range of the cello and some very fast arpeggiations, similar to those found in violin music.
Boccherini's style is a cross-breed between the late baroque and galant style of the classical period. Many embellishments are still found, but there is a lot of simplicity. The melody is very clear and concise.
Carl Stamitz's viola concerto is a decent comparison, despite the genre change. Concerti typically follow a sonata form in the first movement. Like the cello sonata, there is a long introduction played by the orchestra. The viola concerto seems to have more of the galante style found in the middle and later classical era. The viola melodies are simple with very little in terms of embellishment. When the soloist is playing, the orchestra does basically nothing, providing basic harmony through long tones and repeated notes. Boccherini's sonata has a more active accompaniment and has more interplay between the two parts.
This piece sounds quite challenging due to its use of so many high position passages. I originally thought that Boccherini was a baroque era composer due to all of the embellishments and arpeggiations. I can see the classical, but he really seems to be a transitional composer.
Christian Speck and Stanley Sadie. "Boccherini, Luigi." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed April 30, 2014, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/03337 .
Referenced wiki: Stamitz: Viola Concerto in D major. R.Niu
Boccherini Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSX95yCLtSU