Born in 1781, Giuliani is considered – together with Sor, Carulli and Paganini – as one of the most important guitar composers of the first half of the 19th century. Throughout his 48 years of life, he collaborated with such famous names as Salieri, Spohr and Hummel, and was much admired by Beethoven himself. But the personal friendship he had with Rossini in particular, was of a most intimate nature, and this was reciprocated in no small measure by the great man from Pesaro. The result of this mutual adulation are the ten works that comprise this very fine album, first released in 1996 to great critical acclaim.
Some of these virtuoso guitar pieces are based on such well-known operas as "L'Italiana in Algeri", "La Cenerentola" and "Tancredi", but others find their inspiration from such rarities as "Otello", "Zelmira" and "Ricciardo e Zoraide".
All the works are full of "bel canto" passages that continually thrill and entertain, and one is never allowed to lapse into spells of distraction. Frédéric Zigante's energy and enthusiasm for these gems is evident throughout. A memorable set which should now be snapped up for those who missed it first time round.
Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech