Paganini had already become a myth for musicians and men of letters during his lifetime (Heine's visionary portrait narrated in 'Florentine Nights' is unforgettable) and was, and is still today, considered the greatest violinist of all times. For this reason he is held to be a minor composer and  his pieces for the guitar constitute a minor part of his works. Though  not immediately evident, Paganini's production for the guitar has a highly original flair. Moreover,  since these pieces were not envisaged for concerts, they make up a more “intimate” part of the compositions written by this great Genoese musician . In addition to which this production is not limited by the conventional virtuosity of the period, thanks to technical solutions which we consider innovative if we think that they were written at the beginning of the Nineteenth century (the period in which most of these works are dated) and to its being a synthesis of that instrumental virtuosity and the “cantabile” (which was the hallmark of the Italian musical theatre)    . Going from simple pieces like those of the Ghiribizzi collection -  written for “a little Neapolitan girl”- to more elaborate and interesting works such as the Grande Sonata, Paganini always shows an organic coherence in a creative gesture
An annotation about the instrument, a Gaetano Guadagnini guitar made in 1851. The idea of proposing this music on an instrument of the period was not a philological requirement: Paganini's music is alive in the here and now, in our contemporary world. We do think, however, that the Nineteenth century guitar on which Paganini conceived his music, is a completely different instrument to the modern guitar, for it has a specific timbre as well as dynamic and morphological peculiarities which force the interpreter to read the script - and the ideas which inspired his compositions - as correctly as possible from a technical as well as musical point of view.


 

 

El Cimarrón (The Runaway Slave) is a composition which the German composer Hans Werner Henze wrote - during his staying in Cuba - in 1969–1970. It is subtitled "Biography of the runaway slave Esteban Montejo", and is based around the autobiographical passages recounted by Montejo (who was also a veteran of the Cuban War of Independence) to Miguel Barnet in 1963. The reduction and the translation of the text was made by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Henze described the score as a recital for four musicians: a baritone who portrays El Cimarron himself, a guitarist, a flautist and a percussionist, although all four musicians play percussion instruments during the performance. The flautist also plays the Japanese ryuteki and the Italian scacciapensieri, as well as the four conventional orchestral flutes. The number (and the kind) of percussions is very large, and often Henze demands two players in the score (part of percussions are played by the guitarist when he doesn't any part to play). Also the percussionist has to work a lot to make all the effects requested by Henze. Probably it is one of more complex percussion's instrumentarium used in a score of chamber music.

The work is divided into fifteen "tableaux", sometimes songs, sometimes "recitativo" (understanding this word in a non-conventional meaning), in which the composer makes several vocal demands to the baritone, including laughter, whistling, shouting, screaming and even falsetto.

 

 

 

Luigi Attademo and Simone Gramaglia (viola the Quartetto di Cremona) give life to a new and unusual ensemble, offering original music from the nineteenth-century,  twentieth-century and contemporary repertoire; and creating original transcriptions for their instruments. Among them, an original interpretation of the Arpeggione Sonata by Schubert and several transcriptions from the repertoire for violin and guitar of the music of Niccolo Paganini. Their first release will in fact be a CD entirely dedicated to Paganini and published by Brilliant Classics in 2015.

 

AFTER TWO CENTURIES (1817-2017): ANTONIO TORRES AND HIS GUITAR

A program played on original guitar by Torres, including music by Antonio Cano, Jimenez Manjon, Arcas, Tarrega, Llobet , Albeniz and Granados (transcribed by Llobet)

AFTER 50 YEARS


Castelnuovo-Tedesco became interested in writing for the guitar after meeting Segovia at the International Festival Biennale di Venezia in 1932. After his return home, Castelnuovo-Tedesco wrote to Segovia about his desire to write something for guitar, but explaining that he neither knew the instrument. In return Segovia sent him two pieces which demonstrated the guitar’s capabilities, Sor’s Variations op. 9, and Ponce’s Variations on Folia de España and Fugue. Castelnuovo-Tedesco would continue to compose for the guitar from 1932 to 1967... The programme includes three masterworks of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s guitar catalogue: the Sonata op. 77, the Capriccio Diabolico op. 85 and the Tarantella op. 87a. All these works are arranged and performed in a new version, result of a comparison between the original manuscripts found in the Segovia Archive and the Segovia’s edition. 

Music by Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Scarlatti & Paganini

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