VIVALDI / GIULIANI: Guitar Concertos (Camerata Cassovia/ Dagoberto Linhares/ Johannes Wildner/ Raymond Migy/ Rudolf Hentsel) (Naxos: 8.550483)
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Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)
Concerto in A Major for guitar, violin, viola and cello, RV 82
Concerto in D Major for two violins, lute and basso continuo,RV 93
Concerto in G Major for two mandolines, RV 532
Mauro Giuliani (1781 - 1829)
Concerto for guitar, strings and timpani, Op. 30
Federico Torroba (1891 -1982)
The guitar is an instrument of demonstrable antiquity, althoughits use in the concert-hall is relatively recent, with an increase in popularity due inpart to the performances of players like Andres Segovia, using a more resonant form of theinstrument, and in part to less worthy associations. The Venetian composer AntonioVivaldi, priest and violinist, impresario and teacher, spent most of his working life inhis native city, employed intermittently at the Ospedale della Pieta, an institution forthe education of orphan, illegitimate or impoverished girls which enjoyed a high musicalreputation. Vivaldi wrote nothing for the guitar, but the music he wrote for lute and formandoline has been appropriated by guitarists for whom it provides a valuable and aptaddition to repertoire. The A major Guitar Concerto, RV82, is in origin a Trio for violin and lute, and this, with the Concerto in D major for lute and two violins, RV 93,is inscribed with the name of Count Johann Joseph von Wrtby, a high official in Bohemia,where he served as royal governor and hereditary treasurer. It is thought that Vivaldi mayhave met the Count in Prague in 1730, when he was absent from Venice. The G major Double Concerto, RV 532, designed for twomandolines, is splendidly effective in its two guitar version.
Mauro Giuliani, born at Bisceglie near Bari in 1781, was aguitar virtuoso, although he started his career as a cellist. He settled in Vienna in 1806and soon made a reputation for himself there, in competition with Viennese players oflesser ability. He created a particularly strong impression with his Guitar Concerto, Opus 30, which he performed inVienna in 1808, a work that suited well enough patriotic feelings of the day, with asprightly principal theme in the first movement, to which the timpani add a martial touch,elements of pathos in the second and a lively finale. In 1813 he played the cello in afamous performance of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony,of which Spohr has left a graphic account, and the following year was appointed chambervirtuoso to the Empress Marie-Louise, wife of Napoleon. He spent his later years, untilhis death in 1829, in Italy once more. As a composer he made a significant andconsiderable addition to the classical guitar repertoire, of which the Opus 30 Concerto isa good example.
Federico Moreno Torroba belongs to a more recent generation ofSpanish composers for an instrument closely associated with their country. His attractiveSonatina is characteristic of the kind of music written in this century under theinfluence of Segovia, a performer of the greatest influence, overtly Spanish and romanticin mood.
The guitarist Dagoberto Linhares was born in Sao Paulo in 1952and was a pupil of Manuel Sao Marcos and later of his daughter Maria Livia Sao Marcos atthe Conservatory of Geneva, where he won first prize in 1973 and the study prize of theAssociation of Swiss Musicians. In 1972 he joined the teaching staff of the Conservatoryof Fribourg and later undertook further study in the master-classes of Turibio Santos,Julian Bream and Andres Segovia. He has enjoyed a busy international career, appearingthroughout the world as a recitalist, in chamber music and as a soloist in concertos byVivaldi, Giuliani, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He plays a guitar made byFleta y Hijos of Barcelona.
The Camerata Cassovia is the chamber ensemble of the CSFR StatePhilharmonic Orchestra which is based in the Eastern Slovakian town of Koice. Theorchestra was founded in 1968 and has toured widely within Europe and the Far East.
Johannes Wildner was born in the Austrian resort ofMurzzuschlag in 1956 and studied violin and conducting, taking his diploma at the ViennaMusikhochschule and proceeding to a doctorate in musicology. A member of the ViennaPhilharmonic Orchestra, he has toured widely as leader of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra'sJohann Strauss Ensemble and of the Vienna Mozart Academy. As a conductor he has directedthe Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini, the Budapest State OperaOrchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic, the Malmo Symphony Orchestra, the DresdenPhilharmonic and others. He has recorded works by Schumann, Wagner and Mozart for Naxosand is one of the main conductors in the Marco Polo Johann Strauss II complete edition.