Giuliani’s Two Rondos op. 68 for guitar and piano are here now made available in this new re-engraved edition edited by Brian Jeffery and published by Tecla. Full of life and musicality and (so it seems to me) of humour, they richly deserve many performances.
I first published them in facsimile in 1986 with Tecla in volume 34 of the Complete Works of Giuliani, and now this new re-engraved edition will, I hope, make them available to a wider public. As far as I know they have not before been available in a modern edition.
They are full of delightful touches, many of them unusual for Giuliani, for example in Rondo 1 the syncopation at bars 50-51, and the wide striding arpeggios and modulations at bars 53-62 and 88-94. Then the beginning of Rondo 2 is very unusual and quite splendid, where the single bass line on the guitar gives an unexpected and striking opening to the piece. One might imagine, perhaps, such an instrumentation coming from the orchestra pit of an opera of the time, at the beginning of a new aria, followed by the thirds in bars 17-19 which bring us back to a more normal state of affairs. In bar 78 we have a sudden dramatic silence followed by singing high A’s on the guitar. Later there is a steadily growing build-up over twenty bars to the reprise of the rondo at bar 147, while the flourish of the last two bars is perhaps like a tenor ending his aria, or a violinist ending a movement, in triumph.
They were first published in Vienna in about 1818/19.