Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Anton Diabelli's complete Op. 29 Guitar Sonatas, recordings by Glise and Giuliani

Anthony Glise
Diabelli: Guitar Sonatas Op. 29 (complete)
http://www.naxosmusiclibrary.com/preview/catalogueinfo.asp?catID=DIS-80113&path=2
Diabelli: Complete Guitar Sonatas, Claudio Giuliani
http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=974981


Now of course we've discussed Diabelli's guitar sonatas generally and their relationship to the guitar sonatas of Sor and Giuliani in the past.  None other than Anthony Glise assembled the edition of those sonatas Mel Bay published at one point.  That book is severely out of print and is not picked up on the cheap! 

Glise's recording is out of print and this means that Claudio Giuliani's June 2013 release might well be the only game in town if you want to get a still in-print recording of Diabelli's three Op. 29 guitar sonatas.  Fortunately the interpretations seem fairly persuasive.  For those who have heard both recordings by now I might say briefly that while Glise's tempi are livelier and his interpretations of the sonatas 1 and 2 in C major and A major respectively do more to win me over a special advantage Giuliani's recording has (beyond actually being in print) is that while his tempi are slower and his performance more measured than lively his performance also seems to work from the score rather than including the cadenzas Glise composed and recorded on his older CD.  Mind you, I enjoyed those solos and I commend both the Glise and Giuliani CDs to you if you can dig them up, but it's the Giuliani recording that is, to be particular, a recording of what you can see from Glise's published book is the unadorned score. 

What's interesting comparing these two recordings is that both guitarists do their best playing, in my opinion, on what looks to be the most dastardly of the three sonatas, the third of the OP. 29 sonatas in F major.  Yes, F major.  I suppose I could try to go into detail about the three separate sonatas but at this point I'm running out of steam for that stuff.  The sonatas run from C to A to F major and generally move from hard to harder to hardest.  Diabelli seems to have had a trajectory of physical and conceptual difficulty in mind that you won't be able to fully appreciate if you're not yourself a guitarist.  For that matter many guitarists simply don't appreciate Diabelli's guitar sonatas at all but in my highly, highly biased opinion if you compare Diabelli's sonatas to Carulli's you're going to hear something that's worth hearing more than merely getting half-way through the first movement.  Full disclosure, I find Carulli's guitar sonatas pretty loathesome and like Diabelli's sonatas, as sonatas, far more than those of Sor or even Giuliani (though Giuliani's a charmer).  In the last year or so I've been a bit more fond of Matiegka's guitar sonatas than all the above but I may have to amble toward writing about those sonatas later. 

1 comment:

David Norton said...

Thanks for the head's-up on this Diabelli disc. I just ordered it. The Sonata in C is on my Main Projects List for this year.