s´Ghertso Records

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Mauro Giuliani

"La Tersichore del Nord"


Muro Giuliani Cover


Cover Text by Martin Schwarz

(translated by Mike Maloy)

Mauro Giuliani

The past changes according to the perspective from which we view it. Up until the middle of the 20th century, whenever musical historians considered the Biedermeier period in Vienna, they hardly gave a thought to any musicians or composers other than Beethoven and Schubert.
In this vein, the first edition of the encyclopedia "Music, Past and Present", still the most comprehensive music lexicon in the German language, only mentions Mauro Giuliani as the composer of several guitar concertos and one heroic sonata, as well as of some ìquestionable medleys, strongly criticized at the time for their insipidity by Robert Schumann in the music publication, "Die Neue Zeitung für Musik".
The current trend towards performing old music in its contemporary style and musicological studies afford us a much clearer picture of early 19th century Vienna. This turbulent, incredibly creative city was the residence of innumerable composers, virtuosos and music teachers from the most varied of backgrounds. Undoubtedly, the guitar played a significant role in the music scene, being not only appreciated by music aficionados, but also in widespread use among the musicians themselves.
This was the "scene" in 1806, when Giuliani settled in Vienna. Born in 1781 in the small village of Bisceglie, near Bari, Italy, Giuliani achieved notable success, due to the combination of his pleasing appearance, his fine voice and his ability on the violin; but most of all, due to his brilliant mastery of the "guitarre" and the large number of compositions which he wrote while in Vienna.
In 1814, Empress Marie-Louise (Napoleon´s second wife) gave him the honorary title of "virtuoso onorario di camera"; concert tours brought him to London, Italy and Germany. In 1819, he left Vienna to live in Venice, Rome and finally in Naples, where he played concerts in the courts of the "Kingdom of the two Sicilies".
As a composer, Giuliani created a large number of pieces for solo guitar, chamber music, Lieder, and several concertos for guitar and orchestra. The collection "La Tersicore del Nord", op. 147, which appeared in 1828, is Giuliani´s penultimate numbered composition and was advertised by its Viennese publishers, Artaria, as a collection of "Pezzi Ballabili" (good music to dance to). The collection is intended for true connoisseurs of the guitar, and the "catchy" melodic patterns are typical of Giuliani´s style.
In some of the movements, the Viennese "flavor" is unmistakable; impressions which Giuliani no doubt carried back home with him, where he died on May 8, 1829.

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