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Music of Giuliani

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 9, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Another wonderful recording by one of the world's greatest classical guitarists. This digital 20-bit surround sound recording includes some of the finest works by Giuliani. Titles are: 'Grande Ouverture, Op. 61', 'Rossiniana No. 1, Op. 119', 'Rossiniana N

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On Music of Giuliani, David Russell, one of the great guitarists of the late 20th century, plays a selection of solo works by one of the great guitarists of the early 19th century. Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) was deeply involved in many aspects of music throughout his life. He played cello in the premiere of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, gave lessons to Napoleon's wife, and popularized a method of guitar notation that is still used today. But he is remembered today for his compositions for guitar. Russell plays five of Giuliani's solo pieces with his usual blend of intelligence and musicality. He never lets his formidable technique overpower the music. On Rossiniana No. 1, part of a fantasy based on arias from Rossini's operas, Russell plays with a lyricism that is deeply emotional without being histrionic. Russell has a rare gift: he is able to make a guitar sing. --Michael Simmons

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Andante Sostenuto/Allegro Maestoso
  2. Rossiniana No.1, Op.119
  3. Rossiniana No.3, Op.121
  4. Allegro Maestoso
  5. I. Allegro Spirito
  6. II. Adagio: Con Grand Espressione
  7. III. Allegro Vivace


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000028TW7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,931 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Don't let my title confuse you. Giuliani didn't write terribly ambitious pieces--if you're looking from the perspective of major composers. From the perspective of an instrument that in his time was not normally a concert instrument, these 5 works are about as daring as music had ever been for the 6-string instrument. Many music lovers have assumed that Giuliani's music is supposed to be simple and/or boring, and so assume that the few represented larger pieces--"Grand Overture" and the concertos--are the only music Giuliani wrote other than tiny exercises.

If you've ever been to a guitarist's concert who played Giuliani, you probably have heard the overture, the first piece of this disc. That's not a complaint, either; it is one of the first truly virtuoso pieces for guitar from the classical era. Russell gives us a perfect interpretation here, as usual.

The highlight here is the two Rossinianas on the disc. Their lyricism is unique among Giuliani's works, being more complicated and more impassioned than most. Some guitar lovers are enthusiastic about any Giuliani music simply because it is some of the very little music that resembles the classical viennese style; These Rossinianas do not require any die-hard fans to defend them, their charm should appeal to any Mozart lover who can so much as tolerate guitar. The op. 150 is also very good, and the somewhat well-known op. 15 is given a particularly lovely slow movement here.

(Giuliani, like many in his time, wrote many sets of variations, none of which appear here--an important choice by Russell because it shows Giuliani's control of other forms. To sample some of these, try the variations disc on Naxos.
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(This should be one of the first composers you've ever heard of if you've ever played the classical guitar). This recording is beyond remarkable. The tone and virtuosity is the best you will ever hear along with Russell's other recordings, as well. And David Russell's guitar sound is terrific, intonation is perfect and it projects extremely well. He is very sensitive with this music. Giuliani was a definite genius in his own right although most of his compositions are not as famous as some other guitar composers. His style was somewhat like Sor, pretty straight forward and his progressions never really stray out of key (just like most 19th century guitar composers). Giuliani was a virtuoso guitarist and these are virtuoso compositions. Nothing on this recording is harsh and Russell pays attention to the smallest details. The arpeggios are the smoothest you will ever here. A must CD for any guitar collection.
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David Russell is an amazing guitarist who does the entire repertoire of "classical guitar" as well as it's done by anyone, but no one else does the entire spectrum as well. His technique is unbelievable, and yet he never uses it to make the music about himself. It's especially unusual to see a single guitarist perform the Spanish literature, the Baroque literature, and that of Latin America at such a level that pushes up against perfection so closely in execution, interpretation, and expression. He has become one of a very few guitarists whose work I insist on having in its entirety, the others being John Williams and Christopher Parkening in the classical discipline, and Sabicas and Escudero in flamenco.
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The greatest guitarist of our time breathes new life into the music of the greatest guitarist of his time. These pieces are so accessible and guitaristic that most have been well-performed and recorded for decades. David Russell's scholarship and interpretive soul distinguish these performances without any need to reference his superhuman technique. More reference recordings from David Russell.
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What can I say? Every classical guitarist knows and appreciates Giuliani! David does a fine job of sticking to the music without adding a lot of his own personal interpretations, as many guitarists do. The most common pieces are here, with one or two I was not that familiar with. Good CD.
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I admit that I am a David Russel fan. I find his performances engaging and tastefully performed. I am not a big fan of people who re-write the composer's pieces. I am not saying that a bit of vibrato or some other relatively minor technique change that was not originally written is forbidden, just don't try to make changes that substantially change the feel of a piece.

It is that ethos plus superb technique that drives this rating.
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