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  Classical Editor: Rob Barnett  
Founder Len Mullenger   

SFZ Records


Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829)
Gran Duetto Concertante Op.52 (1814)
Grosse Sonate/Duo Concertant Op.25 (1812) (flute part, originally for violin, transcribed by Mats Möller)
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)

Ständchen (1828) Arr. for Guitar by Johann Kaspar Mertz (c. 1844)
Sonata in A minor Arpeggione (1824) (Flute part transcribed by Peter-Lukas Graf, Guitar part transcribed by Johannes Möller)
Duo 2xm (Mats Möller, flute; Johannes Möller, guitar)
Rec. Concert Hall of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, 23-26 July 2003. DDD
SFZ RECORDS CD SFZ 1009 [66:25]

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Giuliani was an Italian guitarist, cellist and composer who settled in Vienna in 1806. He is reputed to have played the cello in the first performance of Beethovenís 7th Symphony. In 1819 debts forced him to leave and return to Italy. He composed about three hundred works involving the guitar and, in later life, frequently performed with his daughter Emilia, also a virtuoso guitarist.

On this disc Giulianiís music is presented as the bread of a musical sandwich, the meat of which is an arrangement of Schubertís Arpeggione Sonata. The first piece, the Gran Duetto Concertante is the only one performed on the instruments for which it was originally written i.e. flute and guitar. It is in three movements as follows: (i) andante sostenuto; (ii) minuet and trio; (iii) rondo militaire. This is followed by an arrangement to relish, made for guitar solo a few years after Schubertís death, of Ständchen. This is one of his greatest songs and part of the collection published posthumously as Schwanengesang. After the Arpeggione Sonata, the disc concludes with Giulianiís Grosse Sonata, also a duo for which the original violin part has been transcribed for flute. This is a considerably more substantial work than the opener, nearly twice as long and in four movements. It is structurally similar except that there is an additional movement placed second presenting a theme and variations. Giulianiís music is lively and attractive; definitely wholemeal bread.

Schubertís Arpeggione Sonata is here played on the flute and guitar with the parts separately transcribed (the guitar part by the performer, Johannes Möller). Since the arpeggione (a bowed guitar with six strings invented in 1823) rapidly became obsolete, some kind of transcription is inevitable and today the work is normally played on the cello. Here the piano part is played on the guitar and the arpeggione part on the flute, the higher register of which provides for quite a different effect. If on paper this seems to be a curiosity, it works surprisingly well, particularly when played as beautifully as it is here.

The performers, the Swedish "Duo 2xm" (i.e. Mats Möller and his son Johannes) are each in total command of their instruments and combine perfectly. The sound is very natural and has a fair degree of intimacy despite the recording being made in a large concert hall. The presentation of this disc is also excellent. There is no booklet since all the information is presented on a carded exterior which unfolds to reveal a central plastic case for the disc. This works very well (and being thinner than usual is space-saving) but there is no space for any translations.

The Arpeggione Sonata is a marvellous work which should not be missed in its usual cello/piano format. It emerges fresh as new here and is a delight to the ear. If the programme appeals, this should give much pleasure.

Patrick C. Waller

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