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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  • So much Giuliani this week. I thought I didn’t appreciate his style, but I found out how creative a composer he really was.
    I worked on his Haendel variations some time ago and decided to refresh it a bit for the occasion.. It gives again a different view on Giuliani’s compositional inventiveness. This opus 107 reflects the classicist style of his predecessors. Maybe, if I can find the time, I’ll record the two more lyrical, operatic variations. 

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Beautiful, Joosje. I hope you are able to work up the other variations, Your performances are always so wonderful.

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    • joosje That was great, Joosje! I've never played it before, but I can tell it is a rather advanced piece. You kept it very legato, despite the extremely awkward movements the music calls for in the left hand. I hope we get to hear the other variations as well.

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    • joosje I found it! beautiful Joosje.

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    • Jack Stewart Eric Phillips Blaise Laflamme thanks guys.. you’re so supportive!

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    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 yr ago
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    Hannah Murphy martin I've never played this piece before the Tonebase challenge and it is more challenging than I expected.  At this point it is not memorized  and my sight reading without looking at fretboard is not great.  The piece also needs more time to truly understand and play well with proper dynamics, rubato, etc;  so I think it is a long term work in progress for me.  I did'nt realize Mertz did such wonderful work with his guitar transcriptions, so I'm happy to give this a try. Any suggestions from you guys is appreciated.  Thanks!

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    • Barney wow. Such a great performance in so little time. The sound of your guitar (fingers) is really impressive. It’s great listening. Thank you for sharing with us. The piece is very demanding like most of Mertz‘ arrangements, but you make it sound (almost) easy.  

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      joosje Thank you Joosje!!  I like this Tonebase activity for its exposure to new composers and pieces I've never tried.  However, it's very difficult to have these pieces ready for publication in the time allocated.  I guess it really doesn't matter, as long as we can share and enjoy each other's playing and learn something along the way.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney That was amazing Barney and in such a short time!! You always have such beautiful tone and phrasing.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jack Stewart Thanks Jack!

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    • Barney Great job, Barney! Those big, sweeping arpeggios in the second half always kept me from tackling this piece. You handled them very nicely. You really make the melody sing!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks Eric!

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      • David Krupka
      • Amateur guitarist/lutenist
      • David_Krupka
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney This is already very good, Barney, and will only get better with time! Your tone is superb, and your phrasing really highlights the melodic character of the piece. I love the drama you create towards the end,, before the return of the opening motif.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      David Krupka Thanks very much David!!

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    • Barney beautiful Barney, this is no easy stuff... not as easy as it sounds, so much hard work, bravo!

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Blaise Laflamme Thanks Blaise!

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    • Jack Stewart
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    • Jack_Stewart
    • 1 yr ago
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    Schubert / Mertz Stanchen

    This is a piece I presented back in the Transcription Challenge and hadn't kept it up, so I am using this challenge to revive it. It is really difficult for me to get a balanced and effective interpretation. It has its moments, I suppose, though it is tough presenting this right after Barney's wonderful Sight Reading(!) of Lob Der Thranen.

    I do think this is an improvement over my original recordings earlier in the year.

    I have a Giuliani piece I tried to prepare for Vienna, but it is another tricky piece for me. Maybe I can 'Grandfather it in' to the Italy week. 

    Like 6
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jack Stewart Wow Jack!  That sounds great for another difficult arrangement by Mertz.  You really brought out the voices and top melody effectively!  Thanks  for posting this and it gives me more to consider working on in the future.  Such beautiful melodies from Schubert!

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Barney Thanks, Barney. I am still a long way from your performances but your playing always inspires me to push myself. In fact, I was about to post a recording of Stanchen when I saw you had just posted yours and I thought I can't possibly put this version up after yours. So I re-recorded it another 3-4 times  to some improvement.

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jack Stewart Thanks very much Jack for your kind words; it's much appreciated!  This community is very casual, so our performances don't need to be perfect.  You used the right word  -"inspire".   We inspire each other.  It's awesome!

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    • Jack Stewart Sounding great, Jack! I'm glad you are getting a chance to work on this again. Between you and Barney, it's like someone said, "Please bring on the Mertz transcriptions of Schubert."

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      • Wainull
      • Wai_Ng
      • 1 yr ago
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      Jack Stewart What a beautiful piece, Jack! This was my first time hearing this piece played by guitar, hope that someday I will have time to practice this one. Thanks for sharing! 🎉

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    • Jack Stewart great submission, Jack. The flow is there, it breaths, it is smooth but not too soft, such good energy. I enjoyed it s lot. I hope you will keep this piece in your repertoire and share with us again. It is music that can grow in your hands. 

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Eric Phillips Thanks (belatedly) Eric - This challenge it is difficult to keep up with the posts. I hope to have an improved update soon, I suppose I should keep it in the week when posted.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
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      Wai Thanks, Wai. This is a really beautiful arrangement. It seems to followLiszt's piano transcription daily closely. Petrit Ceku  has a TB lesson on this piece as well a performance of all 6 Mertz transcriptions of Schubert songs.  Marcin Dylla also has a really and different interpretation of this.

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      • Jack Stewart
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      • Jack_Stewart
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      joosje Thanks, Joosje. I'm still working on it and hope to have an improved version during this challenge.

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