Tune of the Day: Passa calle
This is the piece played at the end of the 2003 film Master and Commander by the Captain (Russell Crowe) on violin and the Doctor on cello.
The title of the work translates from Italian as “The Night Music of the Streets of Madrid”. It was an attempt to recreate what residents of the Spanish capital could expect to hear each night. It was not published until several years after Boccherini's death, in part because the composer told his publisher that “The piece is absolutely useless, even ridiculous, outside Spain because the audience cannot hope to understand its significance nor the performers to play it as it should be played.”
The fifth movement is the Passacaglia of the Street Singers, known as Los Manolos. These were vulgar lower class loudmouths. It is not a true passacaglia, but imitates the way Los Manolos sang. The expression passa calle means to pass along the street, singing as one goes for amusement.