There are several good LP recordings of the Giuliani Concerto, the earliest of its kind to be written, but this is the first one on CD. In hailing it as equal to any other there is one proviso to be made. The work was originally published in two forms—with orchestral and with string quartet accompaniment, but the orchestral parts resurfaced only quite recently; the orchestral arrangement published in 1958—that used in this recording—is based on the string quartet version and its first movement is reduced from 421 to 249 bars! If you feel the loss (one that long remained unnoticed!) to be regrettable then your only recourse is to the LP version by Angel Romero with Raymond Leppard and the ECO (EMI ASD1435581, 11/83); if not, this new one byRead more Fernandez is a sound choice.
All three Vivaldi concertos were of course written for the lute and, should you prefer them in their original forms, there are splendid recordings available. Accepting the guitar as a lute substitute, however, these are by far the best I have come across. Fernandez plays stylishly and adds a good deal of fit-and-proper embellishment (diminutions rather than ornaments), as one now expects of a well-informed soloist in this music. I have not always found his tone-production to be above censure, but here it is unexceptionable. A guitarist is always liable to 'fracture' his tone when he feels he has to try hard to match the orchestra; in this recording the experience of the ECO in supporting guitarists and the sagacity of George Malcolm come together in securing performances that are in scale, never trying to make the music sound 'bigger' than it really is, and this (together with careful recording balance) must have helped Fernandez to feel comfortable. The finely recorded product of this happy marriage is warmly recommendable.
Concerto for Guitar no 1 in A major, Op. 30by Mauro Giuliani Performer:
Eduardo Fernandez (Guitar)
English Chamber Orchestra
Period: Romantic Written: by 1808; Vienna, Austria