La Guitaromanie

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Description

La Guitaromanie

For a brief period in the early 19th century, the guitar enjoyed a veritable hype. Salons in Paris and Vienna hosted musical soirees where the latest compositions were performed for an intimate audience. And when a true virtuoso guitarist came to play, like the Italians Carulli, Molino or Gragnani and the Bohemian Matiegka, the enthusiasm reached the level that can only be described as ‘guitaromanie’ – guitar mania.

They offered a completely new sound, because the guitar was a young instrument at the time. Sometime around the year 1800, the double strings were replaced by single strings with higher tension. And a sixth string was added; the low E. These changes allowed the guitar virtuosos to sound like an orchestra, vocalist and accompaniment with a single instrument. The sounds were intimate, but also expressive and spectacular, and something the salon audiences had never heard before. The guitar virtuosos usually performed their own work, or they arranged a familiar aria or overture from an opera specifically for the occasion. This album focuses on original music composed by the guitarists themselves, showing their creative and inventive spirits. Moreover, four of these pieces are also world premiere recordings.

The album was recorded using original guitars with gut strings from the early 19th century built by renowned luthiers of that time. The compositions by Molino, Carulli and Gragnani were performed on an Italian guitar crafted in 1812 by Carlo Guadagnini. The compositions by Matiegka were performed on guitars of two of Vienna’s most famous guitar makers; a guitar made around 1820 by Johann Georg Stauffer and a guitar built sometime around 1834 by Bernhard Enzensperger.

His poetic style in combination with profound research makes Izhar Elias one of the most sought-after specialists in early music, chamber music and new music for guitar. He has performed in concerts from Europe to Russia, Southeast Asia, Australia and the United States. He is a recipient of the prestigious Nederlandse Muziekprijs. This is the highest honour awarded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to a musician working in classical music. He has performed as a soloist in orchestras ranging from the Residentie Orchestra, the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Izhar Elias’ impressive collection of CD releases have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He teaches at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

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Tracklist

1.
Grande Ouverture, opus 17 (F. Molino)
06:00
2.
Grande Sonata, opus 51: Maestoso molto – Adagio non troppo (F. Molino)
03:23
3.
Grande Sonata, opus 51: Maestoso molto – Rondo, allegretto vivace (F. Molino)
07:19
4.
Fantaisie, opus 5 (F. Gragnani)
14:04
5.
Solo 3, opus 76: Largo (F. Carulli)
02:52
6.
Solo 3, opus 76: Allegretto (F. Carulli)
04:03
7.
Grande Sonate 1, 1st movement: Maiestoso (W. Matiegka)
08:57
8.
Sonate, opus 23, 1st movement: Presto Fugato (W. Matiegka)
07:29
9.
Grande Sonate 2, 1st movement Moderato (W. Matiegka)
09:59

Additional information

Artists

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Recording Location

Lutherse Kerk Haarlem, The Netherlands

Producer, recording engineer

Tom Peeters

Original recording format

DSD256

Microphones

Bruel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis
Neumann KU-100 (Binaural) modified by Rens Heijnis
Sonodere MPM-81

Cables

Acoustic Revive

Press reviews

MusicFrames, mei 2024

Izhar Elias is een groot gitarist die met organisch speelgemak de diverse uitvoeringspraktijken moeiteloos met elkaar verbindt…Steeds kiest Elias voor de juiste intonatie en gradatie waarbij hij de melodie, het thema, voor zich laat spreken en fraai boven de begeleiding uit tilt…Al deze uitvoeringspraktijken brengt hij met zo’n emotionele en vanzelfsprekende vaardigheid, waardoor het lijkt alsof het hem helemaal geen moeite kost, alsof het allemaal vanzelf gaat. Maar daar schuilt de crux. Juist deze vanzelfsprekendheid maakt van hem een groot uitvoerend musicus die ontspannen en accuraat uitgelezen repertoire speelt en brengt met een goed gedoseerde bevlogenheid, waarbij zes van de negen stukken ook nog eens wereldpremière-opnames zijn.

Izhar Elias is a great guitarist who effortlessly connects various performance practices with organic playing ease…Elias always chooses the right intonation and gradation, allowing the melody speak for itself and beautifully lifting it above the accompaniment…He plays all these performance practices with such emotional and self-evident skill, which makes it seem as if it takes no effort at all, as if it all happens automatically. But there lies the crux. It is precisely this self-evidence that makes him a great performing musician who plays and performs selected repertoire in a relaxed and accurate manner with well-measured enthusiasm, whereby six of the nine pieces are also world premiere recordings.

Nederlands Dagblad 15 maart 2024

…Als er één gitarist voor deze muziek geschikt is, is het Izhar Elias. Hij inte- resseert zich niet alleen voor oude gitaarmuziek, maar speelt die ook graag op instrumenten uit die tijd. Dat liet hij al horen op albums met een gitaarbewerking van Rossini’s opera ‘Semiramide’ en met arrangementen van pianomuziek van Beethoven. Nu speelt Elias originele maar wat onbekende gitaarmuziek. De meeste werken beleven een cd-première. Een lust om naar te luisteren…

Pizzicato, march 2024 4 out of 5

Many of the works are first recordings. The album was recorded on historical instruments with gut strings from the early 19th century, made by renowned luthiers of the time. The compositions by Molino, Carulli and Gragnani are played on an Italian guitar made by Carlo Guadagnini in 1812. Matiegka’s compositions are played on guitars made by two of the most famous Viennese guitar makers: a guitar made around 1820 by Johann Georg Stauffer and a guitar made around 1834 by Bernhard Enzensperger.

Elias uses the richness of these guitars in his virtuoso and powerful playing, which is always rhetorical and expressive, but above all, as already mentioned, convincing for its tonal opulence.

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