Notes and Editorial Reviews
You might say that Mauro Giuliani’s (1781-1829) arrangement of almost two hours of Rossini’s Semiramide, one of the composer’s most complicated scores, is an exercise in futility: how can you fill in all the instruments and voices with six strings? Well, here, playing an 1812 Guadagnini guitar, is the Dutch guitarist Izhar Elias, and you’ll rarely hear anyone work so hard. The playing is magnificent–fluent, tonally as varied as possible, rhythmically true to Rossini–and he even embellishes the da capo sections of arias and duets! But it’s like looking at a stage through the wrong end of binoculars; all of Rossini’s grandeur is miniaturized. The thrill of the human voices of course is absent, and there’s only a certain amount of volume
anyone can get out of a guitar; at times the effect is absurd. This is not to say that guitar enthusiasts should not flock to this recording; it’s merely a warning to opera lovers. The sound, including fingers sliding over strings, is superb. You know if you want this.
-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Semiramide by Gioachino Rossini
Izhar Elias (Guitar)
Written: 1823; Italy
Notes: Arranger: Mauro Giuliani.
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