Fernando Carulli, Italian guitarist and composer, has been left to dwell in obscurity when it comes to guitar music, eclipsed by the arrival of Fernando Sor not long after his death. Luckily for modern listeners, this oversight has been firmly put to rights by Nicola Jappelli and this new recording of Carulli’s works, a treasure trove of innovative and exciting guitar music. Italian by birth, Carulli moved to Paris to further his career and passion for the guitar as a valid solo instrument, at a time when it was still considered deeply unfashionable. As the founder of guitaromanie, he single-handedly ensured its revival, enjoying considerable commercial success – and not without reason. This recording gives life to some of Carulli’s most impressive works, showcasing his elegant style and innate sense of lyricism. His works feature many examples of glissandi, rapid ornamentation and quick arpeggio passages, illustrating the composer’s virtuosic characteristics. All of the works featured here have been recorded for the first time, allowing the listener to truly appreciate the skill and inventiveness Carulli has to offer.
There is surely no one better than Italian guitarist Nicola Jappelli to lead the Carulli renaissance. As a soloist and composer, Jappelli is well known for his performances on period instruments, focusing in particular on the Golden Age of the guitar. His compositions regularly feature the guitar as a solo instrument, and they have met with widespread critical acclaim, now being part of concert programmes the world over. This recording is a testament to Jappelli’s long-standing commitment to undiscovered guitar music; his expert knowledge of Carulli’s works comes to the fore, and makes this performance one for all lovers of guitar music to treasure.
Ferdinando Carulli lived from 1770 (Beethoven’s birth year!) till 1841. He was one of Europe’s most famous guitar players, and one of the first to elevate his instrument to the level of a mature and serious classical solo instrument. His guitar concerts in Paris were famous, and he attracted guitarists from many countries, whom he taught his art.
Carulli’s works were very important for the development of guitar technique: his works abound in virtuoso features like glissandi, quick arpeggios and rapid ornamentation.
Nicola Jappelli is a guitarist and composer, specializing in historic performance practice, reviving lesser known composers from the Golden Age of the guitar. He presents a generous and appealing selection of Carulli’s solo works: Divertissements, Valses et menuets and other character pieces whose names already betray their style: charming, lyrical, brilliant and colourful.
Notes on the composer and the works
Biography of the artist
Recorded in Samarate, Lombardy, in autumn 2013