THE EARLY ROMANTIC GUITAR
repertoire of the Classical/Romantic era
The period dominated by the early romantic guitar could be considered a "golden age" for the instrument - the era of the guitarist-composers - wherein we find the great compositions for the solo guitar at the height of virtuosity. From short waltzes and studies to full-length masterpieces - for the guitarist the composers names are familiar - some of the more popular figures are - Mauro Giuliani, Fernando Sor, Niccolo Paganini, Ferdinando Carulli, Giulio Regondi, Napolean Coste, Johann Kaspar Mertz and the list goes on. In fact within the immensity of the repertoire of this period new works are always being resurrected - seemingly without end, so was it a such a flowering of creativity.
Zani de ferranti (1801-1878)
GUITARIST TO THE KING OF BELGIUM
Fantasie VAriée Op. 7 - Sur la Romance d'Otello
"I heard you, sir, with such emotion that I have scarcely enough reason left to tell you that you are the most miraculous guitarist that I have ever met in my life." - Niccolò Paganini to Zani de Ferranti after having attending his recital
Though hardly known today, Zani de Ferranti was one of the most exquisite performers of all time on the guitar, and his compositions thrilled audiences across Europe, including the musical elite of his day. His compositions naturally reflect his own level of virtuosity; the extreme technical proficiency as well as interpretational acumen required leave them mostly untouched by contemporary guitarists.
"We have heard this artist many times and upon every occasion his playing was so brilliant and so varied, that he revealed to us some new wonder quite unexpected. What Paganini is on the violin, Thalberg on the piano, Servais on the violoncello, Ferranti is on the guitar. He is a discoverer. He has surpassed all his celebrated rivals in vanquishing the difficulties which this instrument in the hands of others offers. He has found new effects harmonious traits of extraordinary wealth and power. Add to all the secrets of his technique a clearness, a broadness and admirable equality of tone; add the rapidity, the vigour, the neatness of fingering and above all the inspiration, the rapture, the almost supernatural in the person, which evidences the true artist, and you will have but a faint idea of the talent of Ferranti. The pieces which he composes are charming, and if Ferranti was not a virtuoso of the first rank he would shine amongst composers." - Brussels Echo