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Edoardo Catemario : Mauro Giuliani -Concertos for Guitar & Orchestra Nos 1 – 2 : CD

GIULIANI: Concerto No12 in A Major Op30; Concerto No2 in A Major Op36

Edoardo Catemario , Wiener Akademie with Martin Haselbock

Arts: 476882

Her are the first two of the 3 concertos for guitar and orchestra that Mauro Giuliani composed. At nearly 30 minutes extra, No3 Op70 was a little bit too big to fit on, I imagine. The instruments of the Wiener Akademie are original, and thus give the most authentic sound here.

As with most concerti from this time, the opening of the first movement, here an Allegro Maestoso is where the orchestra plays the main theme or themes without any intervention from the soloist, who then enters and plays them again. This convention was soon to disappear of course as time progressed, but here Giuliani is producing the archetypical standard format for the first movement. The sound is immediately clear and nicely balanced , with Catemario showing how good his technique is here, as , Giuliani, being an expert guitarist, was never shy at putting a great deal of notes in most of his music for guitar, so it needs a very able player, and Catemario certainly fits the bill there. The beautiful Siciliana, an Andantino is every bit as fine as you might hope for, and the famous closing Rondo alla Polacca , an Allegretto is lively and a finishes a beautifully played and recorded performance.

Six opuses later, and here was Giuliani writing his 2nd concerto in the same key as the first and in several ways quite a different piece of writing. After an opening Maestoso that again has the guitar entering after the orchestral exposition, the piece goes in several different directions that result in some lovely playing and a nice camaraderie between soloist and orchestra. The Andantino that follows has some warm and reflective melodies before the final Rondo, an Allegretto that has a racing main theme with some tricky moments for the soloist. A humorous feel exists throughout the entire movement and although not as well-known perhaps as his first concerto, this 2nd concerto is a lot of fun, has many memorable parts, and will delight anyone who doesn’t know it.

Both concertos are effortlessly played by our soloist and the orchestra does a great job of accompanying him throughout the hour or so of this recording. It is definitely a contender for anyone who is thinking of investing in Giuliani’s concerti.

Chris Dumigan

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