The complete introduction by Brian Jeffery (1985)
Back to the page for Giuliani: Guitar Concerto op. 30
Giuliani’s first concerto for guitar and orchestra, opus 30, is known to us today, in its orchestral version, from the original printed orchestral parts, of which only one set is known to have survived to the present day, now in the Royal Library, Copenhagen. It is those parts which are reprinted in volume 25 of the present edition, by the kind permission of that library. When Thomas F. Heck completed his research on Giuliani in 1971, those parts had not yet been located. The orchestra comprises the following: Violin I & II; Viola; Bassi e Violoncelli; Violin I & II Ripieno; Flauto I & II; Oboe I & II; Clarinetto I & II; Fagotto I & II; and Corno I & II.
The concerto was also published in Vienna in an arrangement for guitar and string quartet, and that version is published in the present edition in volume 26. An arrangement was also made, by Anton Diabelli, for guitar and piano, and that arrangement is published in volume 27 of the present edition. The third movement of the concerto was also published in Diabelli as Rondeau alla Polacca for two guitars, an arrangement which may have been made by Diabelli himself and which is published in volume 20 of the present edition.
The concerto opus 30 was performed by Giuliani himself on 3 April 1808 in the Redoutensaal in Vienna, to great applause and enthusiasm. The performance was a major step in his establishment as a virtuoso there, only some two years after his arrival. Heck quotes the following review from the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of May 1808, which calls the concerto “the most outstanding [composition] that has yet been written for and performed on this instrument in Germany”:
Wien, im April. Am 3ten dieses gab M. Giuliani, vielleicht der Erste aller Guitarre-Spieler, welche bis jetzt existirten, im Redoutensaale eine Akademie mit verdientem Beyfalle. Man muss diesen Künstler durchaus selbst gehört haben, um sich einen Begriff von seiner ungemeinen Fertigkeit, und seinem präcisen, geschmackvollen Vortrage machen zu konnen. Er spielte ein Konzert und Variationen mit Begleitung des vollen Orchesters, beydes von seiner eignen Komposition, welche in der That eben so lieblich war, als die Art, mit der er sie vorzutragen wusste. Bewunderung und Beyfall konnte ihm gewiss Niemand versagen, und das Auditorium bezeigte sogar einen Enthusiasmus, wie er selten, auch von dem trefflichsten Meister hervorgelockt wird. In wiefern man damit das Ausgezeichnetste, was bisher in Deutschland fur dies Instrument geschrieben und auf demselben ausgeführt worden ist, belohnen wollte – denn dass dieses beydes Hr. G. geleistet habe, ist gewiss – in wiefern man dieses, sag’ ich, belohnen wollte, ist dieser Enthusiasmus allerdings zu rühmen.
(“Vienna, April . On the third, in the Redoutensaal, Giuliani, perhaps the greatest of all living guitarists, gave an Akademie which was received with deserved applause. One absolutely has to have heard the musician himself in order to get an idea of his unusual skill and his precise, tasteful execution. He played a concerto and variations with full orchestral accomplishment (both of his own composition), which are as delightful in themselves as Giuliani’s performance of them. No one could refuse him his admiration and applause, and the audience showed such enthusiasm as is seldom evoked even by the best masters. Inasmuch as one should acclaim the most outstanding [composition] that has yet been written for and performed on this instrument in Germany – for it is certain that Giuliani has done both – inasmuch, I say, as one should acclaim this, such enthusiasm is to be praised.”)
This same reviewer then goes on to regret that Giuliani had not applied his talent to some other instrument:
siehet man aber auf die Sache selbst Nun, man denke sich nur eine Guitarre und ein Orchester mit Trompeten und Pauken: gehört nicht ein fast unbegreiflicher Grad von Liebhaberey an diesem, doch ewig an Klang armen Instrumente dazu, um bey so schönem Talent, sich ihm so ganz ausschliessend zu widmen, wie Giul. gethan hat, und eine wenigstens eben so lebhafte Theilnahmen an dem Virtuosen, wie an seiner Kunst, um diese seine Produktionen so hoch zu stellen? Ich wenigstens konnte mich bey Anhörung derselben des Gedankens nicht erwehren: Was würde nicht die Kunst dabey gewonnen haben, wenn dies Talent, dieser unsagliche Fleiss, und diese Beharrlichkeit in Ueberwindung der grössten Schwierigkeiten auf ein anderes, auch für den Künstler selbst dankbareres Instrument verwendet worden wäre! – Hat denn nicht ein jedes Instrument seine von der Natur ihm angewiesenen Gränzen? und muss nicht, werden diese überschritten, etwas wunderlich Erkünsteltes, vielleicht Verschrobenes, allezeit die Folge davon seyn? Man weise die Guitarre in die ihrigen züruck – sie bleibe Accompagnement – und sie wird jederzeit sehr gern gehört werden: aber als Solostimme, und besonders als Konzertinstrument, kann sie nur die Mode rechtfertigen und schön finden! Dass ich damit dem wahren Verdienst, das G., als Komponist und Virtuos hat, keinen Abbruch thun will, versteht sich von selbst.
(“But if one considers the music itself
Well, just try to imagine a guitar next to an orchestra with trumpets and drums: isn’t it just about incomprehensibly amateurish to devote such great talent, as Giuliani has done, to this perennially weak-volumed instrument? Or [for the audience] to take so lively an interest in the virtuoso and his art as to regard his work so highly? I, for one, could not avoid thinking, while listening, what Music would have gained if this talent, this incredible diligence and perseverance in conquering the greatest difficulties, had been applied to an instrument more rewarding even to the musician himself. Has not every instrument its own limits decreed by nature? And if these are violated, must not the result be something strangely artificial, or even deformed? We must put the guitar back in its place – let it stick to accompaniment – and we will always be happy to hear it. But as a solo instrument, it can be justified and appreciated only by “fashion.” It should be obvious that I in no way mean to degrade Giuliani’s true worth as a composer and virtuoso.”)
(Translation from Heck, The Birth , I, pp.94-95, by permission)
The reference to trumpets and drums seems to imply that the orchestra which the reviewer had heard included these instruments. But the original printed parts of this concerto include neither trumpets nor drum, nor do the manuscript parts which are in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, and which give the same instrumentation as the printed set. It seems that the reviewer was carried away by his own not inconsiderable eloquence and wished to exaggerate the contrast between the guitar and the power of an orchestra by including, in his description, louder instruments than were actually present. Note that he does not actually state that trumpets and drums were in fact used in that performance: he merely mentions them in the course of his subsequent argument. If he had only mentioned drums, perhaps one might have thought that the orchestra might have included a timpani part which was simply not published; but to mention trumpets as well arouses such suspicions of exaggeration as to make one very wary. It is safer to assume that the evidence of the surviving printed parts is strong and trustworthy and that no timpani part was either composed or intended by Giuliani. Romolo Ferrari, according to Heck, wrote down a set of orchestral parts for this concerto, including timpani, probably early in this century, and that set is (or was) in the Liceo Musicale in Modena; but it is not known to have been based on an original source.
The title-page of the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie edition (according to Heck, The Birth…, II, p.36), and also that of the Haslinger edition, say that “L’accompagement s’y trouve arrangé en Quartetto”. Thus, the version for guitar and string quartet is an arrangement, and the orchestral version is stated to be the original.
The earliest surviving copy of this concerto in any form is a copy of the arrangement for guitar and string quartet in the Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, Vienna, listed by Heck. It was published by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie in Vienna in about 1808-10 and it has plate number 622. However, until recently it was not known whether the orchestral parts were also published by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie at the same time, or indeed whether they were even published at all or remained in manuscript (manuscript copies are in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich). From the set of printed orchestral parts now in Copenhagen, we now know that indeed they were published, and with the aid of some detective work we can establish something of their date. Those orchestral parts have the plate number S.u.C. 4219. H. (on which more in a moment); but on some pages, half effaced, it is still possible to read an old plate number, which is 622 (see, for example, the guitar part, page 8 and 9; Violino I Ripieno, page 3; and Corno I, page 1). 622 was the plate number of the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie edition mentioned above, and its survival on these pages indicates that what we have here is music printed from the original Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie plates, and thus that the orchestral parts were indeed issued by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie in about 1808-10 at the same time as the arrangement for guitar and string quartet, and are not merely a later publication. However, although we can thus deduce that such an original Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie issue of the orchestral parts did once exist, no copy of it is now known to survive.
Two further copies of the arrangement for guitar and string quartet are known to have survived: one in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, and one in the Archive of the Guitar Foundation of America, to which it was donated by Dr Heck.
The above evidence can be summarised as follows:
1) Orchestral parts published by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie in Vienna in about 1808-10. No copy known.
2) Arrangement for guitar and string quartet published by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie at the same time. Copy: Vienna, Wiener Stadt- und Landesbibliothek.
3) Another issue of both of the above, from the same plates, by Tobias Haslinger in Vienna in 1826 or later. Copies of both in the Royal Library, Copenhagen; copy of the arrangement for string quartet only in the Archive of the Guitar Foundation of America.
According to Alexander Weinmann, the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie in Vienna existed under that name from 1801 to 1813; from 1813 onwards it was run by Josef Riedl, who had joined the firm in 1811, in his own name. In 1823 the firm ceased to exist, and its publications were taken over by Steiner & Co., but they were not re-issued by that firm until 1826 or shortly after, the year in which Tobias Haslinger in his turn took over the firm of Steiner & Co. in his own name (Alexander Weinmann: “Vollständiges Verlagsverzeichnis der Musikalien des Kunst- und Industrie Comptoirs in Wien, 1801-1819”, Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, 22 (1955), 217-252; and article “Haslinger” in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 6th edn.). So it was that old publications of the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie were re-issued in or after 1826 with plate number “S.u.C. [number] H.” in which “S.u.C.” stands for Steiner und Comp., and “H.” stands for Haslinger. This was the case with Giuliani’s concerto op. 30, originally published by the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie in c. 1808-1810 with their plate number 622, and re-issued by Haslinger in or after 1826 with the plate number “S.u.C. 4219. H.”
It is possible to cast some light on the date of the first publication of Giuliani’s concerto op. 30, given as “c. 1810” by Heck. In Weinmann’s “Vollständiges Verlagsverzeichnis ” referred to above, a list of the publications of the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie is given, together with the relevant date of advertisement, if any, in the Wiener Zeitung. From plate number 1 advertised in the Wiener Zeitung on 18 August 1802, to plate number 621 advertised on 14 May 1808, the plate numbers and advertisements go more or less in parallel. But then there is a gap: Giuliani’s op. 30 which has plate number 622 has no advertisement in the Wiener Zeitung: and the series picks up again with plate number 623 advertised on 19 May 1810. The gap is unexplained, and there is no other gap in the history of the Bureau des Arts et d’Industrie. It means that the first publication of Giuliani’s concerto op. 30 cannot be precisely dated, but can only be placed somewhere between early 1808 and May 1810.
Diabelli’s arrangement of the work for guitar and piano dates from some years later. It bears the plate number D. et C.No. 1143, and according to Alexander Weinmann’s Verlagsverzeichnis Peter Cappi und Cappi & Diabelli (Vienna, 1983), p. 96, plate number numbers on either side of this one were advertised in the Wiener Zeitung on 19 September 1822. The concerto has undergone changes in this arrangement, and I cannot do better than quote Dr Heck’s words in The Birth…, II, p. 37:
Interestingly, the guitar part in this arrangement is not tacet for 105 mm., as is the case when the orchestra exposes the material. Rather, the exposition now becomes a duet for piano & guitar, in which the guitar remains largely in the lower range, in a subordinate role. At m. 106 the guitar assumes its solo exposition as expected. However, the guitar does not drop out at later Tutti sections, as with the full orchestral version, but plays again a reduced role with chordal accompaniment. The result is that the concerto is transformed in this arrangement into a “Grand Duo Concertant,” in effect, in which piano and guitar are more-or-less equal partners. Giuliani may have been involved in composing the guitar accompaniment to the above-mentioned Tutti sections, but then again, Diabelli could just as easily have done so. The fact that it was published in 1822, three years after Giuliani’s departure from Vienna, might support the position that Diabelli did the arrangement singlehanded. But we know from Giuliani’s letters to Artaria that the former was also in regular correspondence with Diabelli. He may have sent Diabelli the revised guitar part, to complement the latter’s piano reduction. For the time being, we are not certain.
In volume 25 of the present edition, the guitar and orchestral parts are taken from the Copenhagen copies, by kind permission of the Royal Library; but the title-page of the Copenhagen copy is very worn, and so for the sake of better reproduction, the title-page of the Guitar Foundation of America copy, which is identical, has been used by the kind permission and cooperation of the Foundation and of Dr. Heck.
In volume 26, again the title-page is that of the Guitar Foundation of America, and the guitar and string quartet parts are taken from the Copenhagen copies. As the original edition gives only one guitar part, for use either with the orchestral version or with the quartet version, it follows that the guitar part in volume 26 is the same as that in volume 25.
The whole of the music in volume 27, consisting of Diabelli’s arrangement of the concerto for guitar and piano, is taken from a copy in the Royal Library, Copenhagen.
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There has been a suggestion that the orchestration of Giuliani’s concertos was done by Hummel. But this suggestion does not command authority: it appears to have originated in England and dates from a period later than Giuliani’s. The earliest instance which I have found is in C. Eulenstein’s A New Practical Method for the Guitar (London, C. 1840; not before 1836), p.3: “But it is gratifying to know that some of the greatest pianists have duly appreciated the Guitar. Among these may be named Hummel who has, as is well known written the orchestral accompaniments for most of Giuliani’s concertos When Mr. Hummel was in Bath, the author of this work had a long conversation with him ”. (I am indebted to Erik Stenstadvold for the above reference). In The Giulianiad (London, 1833/34) is an advertisement for the publication by Johanning, London, of Giuliani’s third concerto in an arrangement for guitar and piano: “It will be ready for sale on the 1st of November  It is not necessary, perhaps, to state the high opinion which the Musical world has attached to this composition; but to those who are quite unacquainted with its merit, it should be mentioned that the celebrated HUMMEL wrote full Orchestral Accompaniments for it; an honour which he had not conferred on any similar production.” It was probably one or both of these references which were picked up by Philip J. Bone in The Guitar and Madolin (London, 1914), p. 160: “Hummel wrote the orchestral parts to Giuliani’s Third concerto for guitar and orchestra”, and (on p.129): “The Concerto, Op. 36, for terz guitar and orchestra, published by Diabelli, Vienna, Richault, Paris, has been honoured by being transcribed for the piano by Hummel.” But this last statement is almost certainly wrong, because the title-page of the only known arrangement for guitar and piano of Giuliani’s concerto op. 36 states specifically that the piano part is arranged by Diabelli. Josef Zuth confused the matter further in his Handbuch der Laute und Gitarre (Vienna, 1926), p. 145: “Hummel übertrug die Orchesterbegleitung zu Giulianis 3. Gitarrkonzert für Klavier”. Again, this is almost certainly wrong, because, again, the title-page of the only known early arrangement for guitar and piano of Giuliani’s third guitar concerto states specifically that the piano part is arranged by Diabelli; and further doubt is cast on it by Zuth’s demonstrable other errors, for example the misspelling of the London guitar magazine as Giulianad instead of Giulianiad; the incorrect statement that Giuliani visited London; and the incorrect statement that Mauro Giuliani’s son was also named Mauro (in fact Michele). As for Alexander Bellow’s statement in The illustrated history of the guitar (Rockville, 1970), p. 160, that “[Hummel’s association with Giuliani] resulted in Hummel’s orchestration of Giuliani’s three guitar concertos”, this can be dismissed if only because there is – as far as is known – no early orchestration whatsoever of Giuliani’s op. 36. Other writers uncritically copied the above.
To sum up: nothing is known from Giuliani’s own time and milieu to suggest that Hummel orchestrated either of Giuliani’s concertos op. 30 and op. 70. Writers in a foreign country (England), in a later time, said that he did, but there is no known documentary evidence to support them. Later writers compounded each other’s errors. The standard bibliography of Hummel’s works (Dieter Zimmerschied, Thematisches Verzeichnis der Werke von Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Hofheim, 1971) mentions no such involvement of Hummel with Giuliani’s concertos. Unless and until evidence from Giuliani” own time is produced it would be unsafe to assume that anyone other than Giuliani himself orchestrated his own concertos.
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A modern edition of the version for guitar and string quartet was published by Symphonia Verlag, Basel, in 1958, edited by Mario Gangi, but it does not respect Giuliani’s own articulation markings and it adds indications other than those of the original.
Modern editions of the different versions of this concerto, edited by Ruggero Chiesa, have been published by Suvini Zerboni, Milan: the orchestral version in 1977 (score, with parts on hire); the version for guitar and strings in 1983 (score and parts on sale); and Diabelli’s arrangement for guitar and piano in 1977. Mr. Chiesa cites the original editions used. In the case of the orchestral version he cites the Haslinger parts, that is to say the same edition as that reproduced here; he does not state the location of the copy which he used, but I know of no other copy than that of the Royal Library, Copenhagen, and it was probably that which was his source. In the case of the version for guitar and string quartet, it was the Guitar Foundation of America copy; and in the case of the arrangement for guitar and piano, no location is given.
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Copyright 2005 by Tecla Editions. Errors and omissions excepted.