Album: La Guitaromanie

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Izhar Elias
March 1st 2024
€ 15,-

For a brief period in the early 19th century, the guitar enjoyed a veritable hype. Salons in Paris and Vienna hosted musical soirees where the latest compositions were performed for an intimate audience. And when a true virtuoso guitarist came to play, like the Italians Carulli, Molino or Gragnani and the Bohemian Matiegka, the enthusiasm reached the level that can only be described as ‘guitaromanie’ – guitar mania.
They offered a completely new sound, because the guitar was a young instrument at the time. Sometime around the year 1800, the double strings were replaced by single strings with higher tension. And a sixth string was added; the low E. These changes allowed the guitar virtuosos to sound like an orchestra, vocalist and accompaniment with a single instrument. The sounds were intimate, but also expressive and spectacular, and something the salon audiences had never heard before. The guitar virtuosos usually performed their own work, or they arranged a familiar aria or overture from an opera specifically for the occasion. This album focuses on original music composed by the guitarists themselves, showing their creative and inventive spirits. Moreover, four of these pieces are also world premiere recordings.
The album was recorded using original guitars with gut strings from the early 19th century built by renowned luthiers of that time. The compositions by Molino, Carulli and Gragnani were performed on an Italian guitar crafted in 1812 by Carlo Guadagnini. The compositions by Matiegka were performed on guitars of two of Vienna’s most famous guitar makers; a guitar made around 1820 by Johann Georg Stauffer and a guitar built sometime around 1834 by Bernhard Enzensperger.

F. MOLINO (1768-1847)
1. Grande Ouverture, opus 17 *
Grande Sonata, opus 51*
2. Maestoso molto – Adagio non troppo
3. Rondo, allegretto vivace
F. GRAGNANI (1768-1820)
4. Fantaisie, opus 5 *
F. CARULLI (1770-1841)
Solo 3, opus 76 *
5. Largo
6. Allegretto
W. MATIEGKA (1773-1830)
Grande Sonate 1, 1st movement
7. Maiestoso
Sonate, opus 23, 1st movement
8. Presto Fugato
Grande Sonate 2, 1st movement
9. Moderato
* World premiere recording

For La Guitaromanie in (high resolution) download: click HERE