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Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1828)
Opere per Voce e Chitarra

Sei Cavatine, op. 39 (soprano-chitarra): Par di giubilo [1:16]; Confuso smarrito [1:41];Alle mie tante lagrime [3:21]; Ah! non dir che non t’adoro [2:12]; Ch’io senta amor per femmine [2:36]; Già presso al termine [3:11]
Valzer, op.57 (chitarra): No 1, La Minore [2:52]; No.7, La maggiore [2:01]; No. 4, Sol maggiore [2:10].
Sei Lieder op. 89 (soprano-chitarra): Abschied [2:44]; Lied Aus Der Ferne [3:58]; Abschied [4:56]; Lied [2:21] Ständchen [2:34]; An Das Schicksal [2:59]
Valzer, op. 57 (chitarra) No. 6, Mi maggiore [3:47]; No 5, Do maggiore [2:14]; No 10, Do maggiore [2:29]; No 12, Do maggiore [2:16].
Arietta, op.95 (soprano-chitarra): Ombre amene [2:20]; Fra tutte le pene [2:01]; Quando sarà quel di [1:31]; Le dimore amor non ama [2:43]; Ad altro laccio [1:58]; Di due bell anime [2:45].
Cristina Curti (soprano); Aldo Vianello (guitar)
rec. no information provided.
TACTUS TC 780702 [64:56]

In life, as exemplified by the comedian’s trade, timing is critical.

The review disc arrived at a time when an exhaustive comparison was mandatory. It infiltrated a state of euphoria induced by infatuation with another soprano/guitar disc – Russian Romantic Songs (harmonia mundi- HM 907 386) - also recently reviewed in this forum. Featuring soprano Kaia Urb and guitarist Heiki Matlik it is a very hard act to follow.

The current programme is from the pen of a single composer: Italian, Mauro Giuliani, one of the greatest guitarists of his time. Giuliani wrote prolifically for solo guitar also guitar concertos, chamber music and songs. His complete opera have been published in 39 volumes by Tecla Editions of London and edited by Brian Jeffery. The present interpretations are based on the original texts as preserved in these scholarly editions.

Like the aforementioned disc the review programme is a combination of soprano/guitar duets and guitar solos - here waltzes played on a period instrument - but there the similarity ends.

Guitarist Aldo Vianello studied at the Milan and Bologna conservatories and is a scholar in historical guitar performance which is probably the only justification for his choice of instrument on this recording. While this has the novelty of compliance with historically informed dogma its small boxy sound is really an anachronism in modern-day terms. The playing is best described as pleasant but at times deviates from standards that, comparatively, current recordings demand.

Soprano Cristina Curti is a graduate of the conservatories of Bologna and Parma. She is a specialist in vocal music of the Renaissance and Baroque plus vocal chamber music of all periods. Ms. Curti has made several recordings in the past.

The programme highlight is the Lieder from Op. 89, but comparatively the singer is totally outclassed by Kaia Urb - HM 907 386. Guitar/voice duet recordings constitute a rather narrow field and, irrespective of the programme, direct comparisons are inevitable.

Giuliani wrote some excellent pieces for solo guitar, but the solo material chosen on this occasion is not among them. Although adhering to his objective, the guitarist does not help his case by using a period instrument and is also outclassed by Heiki Mätlik.

For sheer musical pleasure, and in that sense transcending the genre, Russian Romantic Songs compares favourably with the best.

Having said that, the review disc is historically significant and as an aficionado of the guitar I welcome its appearance in the recorded music catalogue. For that reason alone it is recommended to those with an interest in Giuliani and voice/guitar duets.

Zane Turner


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