Mauro Giuliani (1781-1828)
Works for Voice and Guitar
The practice of accompanying the voice with the guitar in Vienna during the classical period was so widespread among amateurs, the aristocracy and the new bourgeoisie that even the editor Diabelli seriously considered publishing a version for guitar of extremely famous Lieder, including some by Schubert. Diabelli was not only a fine pianist: he also possessed a profound knowledge of the guitar and participated in the frenetic activity of transcribing vocal works which substituted the timbre of the piano with the more seductive nocturnal sound of the six strings. This exercise occupied lesser-known guitarists who were variously employed as teachers, composers and concert artists in Vienna. The Bohemian Wenzel Matiegka brilliantly transcribed two of the most famous Lieder of Mozart and Beethoven, while Carl Maria Von Weber himself, who fancied and was quite familiar with the guitar, composed an extraordinary cycle of Lieder for these forces. Mauro Giuliani from Puglia, who was living in the Austrian capital during the extraordinary, unrepeatable and completely excessive craze of the Guitarrische Sensucht, became its unparalleled protagonist, both for his genteel instrumental writing and for his perspicacious ability to penetrate the forms, styles and expressive language of the first Viennese school.