REGISTER NOW AND GET
• 5 FREE tracks! • 101 tracks for $9.99
ClassicsOnline Home » CARULLI: Guitar Sonatas Op. 21, Nos. 1- 3 and Op. 5
Ferdinando Carulli (1770 - 1841)
Sonatas Op. 21, Nos. 1 -3 / Sonata Op. 5
Ferdinando Carulli was born in Naples in 1770 and, as
with the Spaniards Fernando Sor and Dionisio Aguado, he received his first
musical education from a Catholic priest. Although these early studies were
originally on the cello he switched to the guitar while still in his youth. At
that time tutors for the newly emerging six single string guitar were few and
so Carulli was compelled to develop his own pedagogical curriculum. Part of
this curriculum was to compose the appropriate studies necessary to further his
musical development. Eventually this course of study would lead to his Methode
complete de guitar ou lyre (Paris, 1811), the most thorough guitar method published
at that time.
As with many other Italian virtuosi, Carulli migrated
north in the first decade of the nineteenth century and eventually settled in Paris.
His renown as a performer was well documented and there are numerous accounts
that refer to his extraordinary skill in both technical and musical contexts.
As a composer Carulli was prolific, his published works numbering over 300, and
his style quite varied. More than any other guitarist/composer Carulli immersed
himself in the "classical style" of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, and
transcribed numerous works by these composers for guitar and various instruments,
included an arrangement of the opening movement of Haydn's London Symphony,
No.104, for two guitars. He also composed many original compositions,
sonatas, concertos, duos, trios, and so on, in a similar style. Carulli was
also at the vanguard of nineteenth century romanticism and here his talent
resulted in a number of very interesting programmatic works, including even one
on the life of Napoleon. Other titles include: The Storm (sonata sentimentale),
The Fall of Algiers (piece historique) and The Loves of
Venus and Adonis.
Many early classic guitar compositions suffered from
being re-issued in corrupt editions at the hands of Heinrich Albert
(1870-1950). Although Mr. Albert did much to promote the guitar and its
repertory, he also felt the need to edit severely and recompose many
compositions, including the famous Fandango Quintet by Luigi Boccherini
and the Duo Concertante for Violin and Guitar, Op. 25, by Mauro
Giuliani. These works were originally issued by the Zimmermann publishing house
in the series Die Gitarre in der Haus and Kammermusik vor 100 Jahren,
and many of these same "arrangements" have been re-published in the Kalmus
Guitar Series by the Belwin Mills Publishing Corporation. Included in the
Zimmermann series were the Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 from Op. 21,
for fortepiano and guitar by Ferdinando Carulli. While it is true that Carulli
composed and published many works for piano and guitar these sonatas were never
conceived as such. Opus 21 was originally composed for solo guitar and
contained an additional three movement sonata. While the duo arrangements of
Nos. 1 & 2 have been previously recorded this is the first recording of all
three sonatas in their original solo versions.
Musically, these works are reminiscent of early Haydn
piano sonatas and conform to the standard three movement classical formula: an
opening sonata form movement followed by a lyrical adagio, or theme and
variation, and concluding with a lively rondeau. Throughout Carulli is able to
incorporate pianist elements in a manner that sounds completely natural on the
guitar. Listen, for instance, to" Alberti bass" texture in the
opening movement of Sonata No.3, a clear demonstration of what one would
normally describe as left and right hand function on a piano. Yet Carulli also
retains his natural gift for lyrical Italianate melodies as demonstrated in the
slow movements of Nos. 1 and 3. Although they are not indicated Carulli seems
to provide the perfect opportunity to include some subtle ornamentation and
short cadenzas in these works, an option that I have chosen to exercise.
Finally, I have also included an additional short sonata,
Op. 5, on this recording. Carulli composed many of these kinds of works
that appear to be more like a light divertimento or sonatine than a “sonata.” Op.
5 is a pleasant, unassuming work that may have provided some motivic
material for the third movement of Op. 21, No. 2.
1995 Richard Savino
Last Albums Viewed
CARULLI: Guitar Sonatas Op. 21, Nos. 1- 3 and Op. ...