Accademia l'Ottocento


The guitar's history in this century has been profoundly influenced, by prejudices, now being overcome, regarding the scarcity and inadequacy of its musical literature of the past 200 years.

However, recent musicological research has amply reconstructed the panorama of musical life during the 18th and the 19th centuries, placing the guitar at many levels of musical making, from that of a popular instrument widely used by amateurs of every social class, to the artistry of the great concert artists and composers. The guitar appeared in drawing rooms and salons across Europe, along with the fortepiano, strings and wind instruments.

Thus it is today generally considered necessary to examine and reappraise technical and musical interpretative elements which are indispensable in revaluating the guitar's image during the period from 178O to 185O. For it is in these years, shifting from classicism to romanticism, that the guitar flourishes, acquiring its present name of "classic guitar", and experiencing an outburst of creativity in its musical production, both as a solo instrument and in ensemble.

The most important virtuosi and composers of the guitar were present in the principle European capitals: Madrid, Vienna, and especially Paris. Modern musicological studies have thus been able to establish a close link between the guitar's evolution and the transformation of society in cultural and artistic circles.

In examining primary sources from the period, whether didactic methods or concert works, one must keep a global view, indispensable in attempting to synthesize the original musical practices.

A patient reconstruction of the musical taste of the era renders the guitar's musical literature more comprehensible and sheds completely new light on artistic values which today are unfortunately frequently misinterpreted.

 CARLO BARONE