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ProductsSheet Music for GuitarSolo GuitarAdagio



Composer: GIULIANI M.

Arranger: AMBROSIO Carlo

DZ 1808


ISBN: 978-2-89655-707-3

Solo Guitar

12 p.


In mid 2010 I received by a friend of mine, Ernst Pfiffner, a musicologist and composer from Switzerland, the jpeg files of a very interesting manuscript belonging to a private collection from a town in the North of Italy. Mr. Pfiffner sadly died in July 2011, and when I started working on the manuscript, several months after I received it, I could no longer talk to him in order to find out from which collection it came from. All I was left with was this 5 pages manuscript.
It is one of the most beautiful Adagios of the XIXth Century guitar repertoire I ever came across. The title reads “Adagio di Mauro Giuliani”, and it seems to be very likely the introduction to the Gran Sonata Eroica op. 150. It bears, at the end of it, the word “attacca”, and its themes and rhythmical cells quote those of the op. 150 in such a way that the link existing between this Adagio and the Sonata Eroica is absolutely evident to me.
Nonetheless there are some obscure and unclear aspects of this work, which make me think it has not been written entirely by Giuliani. Some passages have been composed in a style which belongs to a later period (measures 36-61), and some of the guitar techniques involved do not fully belong to Giuliani, or not at all (measures 40-54). This may suggest of a Giuliani’s pupil or a brilliant amateur who knew and admired the Italian Maestro, as well as knew well the guitar repertoire and technique by Sor and Aguado, who completed this unfinished work by Giuliani several years after his death, though never proceeding to publish it. This would explain both the different styles which appear through the developments and the reason why the handwriting of the manuscript is not Giuliani’s.
This said, I have chosen to perform, record and publish this Adagio as the Introduction to the Gran Sonata Eroica (whose manuscript is missing, either) in spite of the aforementioned doubts I have about its full authenticity, simply because it is a remarkably fine piece of work, no matter who completed it, when, where and how. I believe it finalizes the Sonata Eroica in such an accomplished manner that I feel it would have been an unforgivable pity not to perform it.
- Carlo Ambrosio

This is an altogether fascinating work with a most intriguing history. Without going into too much detail the manuscript was found in a private collection (a facsimile is included) and is mooted to be the opening Adagio to the Giuliani Gran Sonata Eroica Op 150. Indeed it bears at the end of it “Attacca L'Allegro” and its themes and rhythmic cells quote those of Op. 150 in such a way that the link is quite apparent. Of course there is a great deal of doubt, all of which is gone into some detail in the Foreword. That said, the Adagio is a lovely work that has many interesting ideas in its 113 bars, which make it well worth investigating whether it's part of the Sonata or not. The only thing is that as it stands it stops mid-phrase, as it expects the player to go into the following Alleqro, so that has to be taken into consideration when programming the piece. In summation, whether it is by Giuliani or not, the piece is a lovely piece of writing that goes through many changes of mood and key and, whilst not exactly easy to play, is well within the scope of a moderately advanced player and as such I can confidently recommend it.

Chris Dumigan (Classical Guitar Magazine)

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