MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Ferdinando CARULLI (1770-1841) Gustavo CARULLI (1801-1876)
Music for Guitar and Piano: 2
Ferdinando CARULLI
Duo in C major, Op.11 (1809) [13:16]
Duo in C major, Op.150 [5:12]
Duo in G major, Op.151 [5:21]
Three Waltzes, Op.32 [8:06]
Ferdinando and Gustavo CARULLI
Mélange en Duo sur des motifs de Rossini, op.236 [7:54]
Arranged by Ferdinando CARULLI
Grande Marche de Ries in D major, Op. 168 [4:25]
Overture to Rossini’s La Cenerentola [8:30]
Overture to Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri [8:12]
Ferdinando CARULLI
Grand Duo in E minor, Op.86 [13:59]
Franz Halász (guitar), Deborah Halász (piano)
rec. 19-22 September, 2007, Studio 2, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich
NAXOS 8.570588 [75:33]
Experience Classicsonline

Carulli’s early upbringing in Naples included lessons on the cello, but in his mid-teens his passion for the guitar began to dominate his musical interests. By the early 1800s he was travelling in northern Europe and from 1809. having married a French wife. he lived in Paris, where his demonstration of the instrument’s possibilities soon attracted attention. As performer, composer and teacher - both in person and through his Méthode complete (1810/11) - he became an influential presence in the musical life of the French capital.

It is fair to say that Carulli did much to establish the modern vocabulary of the six-string guitar and his own compositions range across the levels of difficulty, as he accommodated himself to the varying demands of beginners and more advanced students, as well providing himself with plentiful material for his own performance in the fashionable salons of Paris. He wrote extensively for a variety of chamber music configurations, centred on the guitar. This present CD is volume 2 of a series for Naxos - I haven’t heard Volume 1 - devoted to his music for guitar and piano.

Most of the music to be heard here is in a fairly direct line of descent from Haydn and Mozart, though it owes more to their ideas of symmetry and grace than to their profundity. The Three Waltzes (Op.32) are attractive pieces, not least in terms of the echoic dialogue between the two instruments. The Duos (Opus 11, 150 and 151) show Carulli slowly - the opus 11 duo was published in 1809, the others in the 1820s) coming to terms with the problems involved in blending the sounds (and dynamics) of these two instruments and often hitting on some very interesting solutions to the inherent problems; as he shifts the focus from one to the other, spotlighting each in turn, the results are never less than engaging. The Grand Duo, which appears to have been published in the mid 1810s, is perhaps the most accomplished and most substantial of Carulli’s original works on the present disc, full of lyrical invention.

Carulli’s Rossini arrangements (including one prepared in collaboration with his son Gustavo) are great fun, capturing much of Rossini’s wit and zest. Opus 168, an arrangement of the Grande Marche by Ferdinand Ries is something of a curiosity. The attempt to give the guitar a martial air has a slight element of the absurd about it, heard along side the far greater power and authority of the piano. The outcome can’t quite avoid a sense of pastiche, even of parody, though the piece is entertaining enough (Carulli is very rarely dull).

I have one important reservation, however. For all the tact with which Déborah Halász plays (and she is a fine pianist) there are moments when the sheer power of the modern piano cannot help but come close to swamping the guitar. I am not sure that the balance of the recorded sound does all it might to help here. Perhaps even more important is the fact that the use of a modern instrument robs Carulli’s duets of some of their innate colours and makes the two instruments far more contrasting than complementary. On a recording such as the 8 discs of Carulli’s ‘Complete Works for Guitar and Fortepiano’ (Brilliant Classics 92269), played by Leopoldo Saracino (guitar) and Massimo Palumbo (fortepiano), on which the guitar used is an instrument made in 1820 by Gaetano Guadagnini and Palumbo plays a fortepiano made by Felix Gross in 1812, the colours are far subtler, the interplay of the instruments much more intimate. For all the skills of Franz and Déborah Halász, there are dimensions of this music which are, for this reason, beyond their reach.

Glyn Pursglove 


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.