Week 2: Vienna in 19th !🍰

Welcome to the Main Thread for the second week of the "Around the 19th Century Guitar World" challenge! 

Vienna was a hub for all classical music in the 19th century. Home to Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, among others, the classical guitar was alive and well in the 19th century. In Vienna in the 19th century classical guitar composers were heavily influenced by orchestral composers and had relationships with them; Giuliani played cello in the premiere of Beethoven’s 7th symphony and Mertz arranged Schubert’s Songs for Piano and Voice on guitar.


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  • Matiegka - Sonata IV Allegro Moderato Update July 20

    I'm now playing the entire large A section, measures 1-67 (pages 1 and 2 in the edition Hannah sent us). In order to be able to play the arpeggios in measures 52-62, I needed to bring the tempo down from what I was playing yesterday. This is at about 80bpm, and the goal tempo would be more like 116bpm.

    This is obviously going to take me more than this week to get through, as I'm only halfway through the piece, and at a tempo that's too slow. I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe for next week, I could just play some really easy Paganini, Legnani, and Regondi. (That's a joke. They wrote nothing easy, especially Regondi.) We'll see.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Great job, Eric. I am looking forward to hearing your completed performance. Matiegka does seem to be much better than his exposure. 

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips I appreciate you playing it at a slower tempo, as it makes me realize just how much work goes into this! Great job so far! 

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    • Jack Stewart Yes, I wonder how he's been under my radar for so long.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Nice job on this this.  It is really tough tackling these pieces technically and musically in the period allocated for this challenge.  One particular skill you have has made this "more doable"-  is your amazing sight reading.  How did you master your sight reading while hitting right notes "cleanly" with no looking (or cheating, haha), and keeping your wonderful tone?  what was your method to achieve it?

      Like 1
    • Barney Thanks, Barney. I don’t know that I’ve mastered sight reading, but I am better at it than most guitarists. I actually credit my first guitar teacher. I was a teenager who just wanted to play Led Zeppelin (which he did teach me a little bit), but he insisted that I learn to read music. After a couple years of lessons, our routine at the beginning of each lesson was to sight read something together out of one of his thousands of books of music. It wasn’t classical guitar (that came later), but he really gave me many useful skills and habits for whatever kind of music I might choose to play. I’m very grateful to him for that.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Very cool Eric!  You mean you still don't play Led Zeppelin.  When I first learned the guitar solo from Stairway to Heaven note-for-note with the bends and vibrato  (without  being properly warmed-up) for a few hours with no breaks, I got Medial Epicondilitis in my left arm near elbow.  I learned an important lesson!

      So I guess, your skill was from consistent practice playing and reading without looking, but listening for good clean sound, right?

      Like 1
    • Barney I don't play much Zeppelin anymore. Sorry that Stairway brings up such painful memories for you.

      I guess that having to sight read and keep up with another player forced me to be able to keep my eyes on the music, and thus make it sound okay without looking.

      Unfortunately, he only taught me how to play with a pick, and my right hand technique lags far behind as a result. I can't play fast arpeggios to save my life, and string damping is very labor intensive for me.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips I think your right hand technique produces wonderful tone, even with free strokes, which is hard to accomplish.  I would suggest the fast arpeggios work best with relaxed fingers using preparation, when possible, and just let them  go. (also maybe revisit the Giuliani RH studies).

       I haven't played much Zeppelin lately either.  My time with guitar is occupied mostly with classical style, but when I'm in the mood, I enjoy revisiting (on Electric)  the great Classic Rock songs, trying to play them ( including the solos) like the records. It's fun to mix it up and use the pick occasionally.

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    • Barney Thanks, Barney. I was never taught RH preparation, and it is so difficult for me to do it. I've tried it many times, but lack the perseverance. It's just so awkward for me and feels unnatural. Doing Giuliani RH exercises would clearly be good for me, but thinking about doing them again almost depresses me. It's like telling a kid in a candy shop, "Now go eat your asparagus."

      I don't own an electric anymore. I do have a steel string acoustic that I play with a pick. I use it to play at church on Sundays, but other than that, it sits in its case. The rest of the time is all classical for me.

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  • Well, this feels like some kind of a speed date challenge. I was just about to dive into Giuliani and Matiegka and here were are moving on to the Italian Virtuoso guys, like Regondi and Legnani!

    it’s not that this music is easy, it needs practice and understanding of the style. Matiegka will have to grow. But here is the Allegro Hannah suggested. I expected to hear some recordings of the piece in this forum. 

    Since it’ is one of the op. 50 Papillons (Eric submitted one of the more advanced ones) I decided to record the allegro (nr 13, in a minor) together with no. 12 in C.

     

    after that I recorded a piece from the op. 100, “etudes instructives“ dedicated to the (Galician) princess Catherine de Menschikoff). But this is actually a first reading. I was interested by the harmonic structure, a bit  more daring than his usual, C-G, Am- E.

    Like 5
    • joosje Very nice, Joosje! I'm particularly impressed by how easily and naturally you stopped unwanted bass notes. I wish I could do that as well as you.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Nicely performed, Joosje. 

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje very beautiful and musical. Great pieces, wonderful job! Thanks for playing these!

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    • Eric Phillips Jack Stewart Steve Pederson Thank you!

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  • And I had been preparing this  very beautiful romanza by Mertz. I will keep trying to get a more refined recording. The ending is , though easy at first sight,  always spoiling the result. Would a 19th century guitar help me out with those stretched chords?

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    • joosje Really beautiful, Joosje! Like Lob der Tranen, this one fools us with a relatively easy first half. But in the second half, those crazy fast arpeggios come in, and that's where it falls apart for me. You, however, played them so well - fast, but controlled, and with the melody singing on top. Impressive!

      (I hate those big, spread major chords too. Probably easier on a smaller guitar. You played it very well ,though.)

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje That was wonderful, Joosje. You always have such beautiful tone and phrasing. I also find arpeggios challenging and you just roll along. 

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      • Steve Pederson
      • The Journey is My Destination!
      • Steve_Pederson
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje really great job with this one too! I love how you make the busier arpeggio section sound just as beautiful and almost serene as the more mellow first section.

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      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Wow, that was beautiful, really love how the bass lines played against the melodies. You always play with such a warm and sweet tone, it's very enjoyable to listen to.

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    • joosje beautiful... you have a great sense of phrasing and detail, thank you for sharing this. Perhaps you can play on a shorter scale modern guitar?

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    •  Eric Phillips Jack Stewart Steve Pederson Wai Blaise Laflamme  thank you all!

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Beautiful, Joosje! Very fine articulation (and balance) of the various voices. And I love your handling of the arpeggios! I agree with you (and Eric) about those chords towards the end - I imagine, as you suggest, that a period guitar would make then a good deal easier. 

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    • David Krupka thank you David.

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
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      Blaise Laflamme I wonder, Blaise, if string spacing, rather than scale length, might be the critical factor?

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Wonderful playing Joosje!  Alway a pleasure listening to you tackle these pieces and your great tone (with Free strokes!!) , phrasing, and shaping of the piece.  thanks for posting a Mertz  work.  If I was to have a luthier do a custom order for me, I would request a narrower and thinner neck.  that would help with lots of issues.

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