Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

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Title format: Composer's surname, forename - op.xx/xx Title - tags (if known)
e.g. Carcassi, Matteo - op.60/01 Etude - D05 Video
or Mozart, W. A. - K545 Sonata, Allegro - Duo (For more than one forename, just give initials.)
or Anon. - Au Clair de la Lune - D01 (Use Anon. for all anonymous or traditional pieces.)
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Rui Namora
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Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by Rui Namora » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:25 am

Anton Diabelli was a key figure in the Viennese musical scene in the first half of the 19th century. Guitarist, pianist, composer and an influent music publisher, is is best known today as the composer of the theme of the Beethoven variations op.120, aka as the Diabelli variations.
Among his guitar output (didactic works, variations, preludes, chamber music), he composed three Sonatas, the op.29. The third one, in the unusual key of F major, has a slow movement, the Andante sostenuto, in the good Haydn tradition, also used by his contemporaries, like Matiegka or Giuliani.

Now, this guitar. It's an original romantic made by Pierre Marcard, a master luthier from Mirecourt. By its features, the guitar dates from around 1830. For decades this guitar laid in a basement, getting dust, worms, abandoned in a friends house, from family inheritance. How this guitar arrived in Portugal, I only can guess. I took the guitar for a restoration. It didn't had the machine heads (knife-carved wooden pegs inserted in the holes), steel (!!!!) strings attached to old plastic (!!!!!) bridge pins and lacked some frets.
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Fortunately, it didn't had serious cracks, neither structural damages. Now, after a long, long time of silence, this old lady can resume its purpose.

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David Norton
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - Andante Sostenuto op.29/03

Post by David Norton » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:21 pm

Gorgeously done. I've long considered this slow movement as one of the high points of the early 1800s guitar repertoire, and you play it marvelously well.

Gut strings? Or modern?
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT
First person to complete the Delcamp "Let's Learn Sor's Opus 60" project

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Rui Namora
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - Andante Sostenuto op.29/03

Post by Rui Namora » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:32 pm

Thank you for your comment, David. This Andante is a beautiful piece, indeed.
I'm using Nylgut (Aquila Ambra) strings.

RN

Jeremiah Lawson
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:21 pm

nicely done. :)

The F major is the finest of the three Op. 29 sonatas. I know it's popular to slam Diabelli in light of things Beethoven, but I agree with David about the sonata being a high point of early 1800s guitar literature. The slow movement is beautiful and the outer movements are really pretty good, too. Guitarists may have to be at the level of Anthony Glise and Marcin Dylla to get those outer movements to really "work" but the whole F major sonata, in the right hands, really does shine.

Reza Chitsaz
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by Reza Chitsaz » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:44 pm

Thank you for restoring this little gem!

RobMacKillop
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by RobMacKillop » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:47 pm

Very nice, Rui. The harmony is always very clear, and is little more than V/I in the tonic and V/i in the relative minor. I wouldn't call it one of the high points of the 1800s guitar repertoire, as David claims - which is not to say I don't like it, of course. You play it beautifully, but I find the piece unchallenging to listen to. Of course, not everything needs to challenge my ears, but its predictability breeds boredom. Clearly everyone else disagrees :lol: But Sor and Giuliani, not to mention the Russian guys, were far more adventurous. I can only call it "nice".

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Rui Namora
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by Rui Namora » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:44 pm

RobMacKillop wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:47 pm
But Sor and Giuliani, not to mention the Russian guys, were far more adventurous. I can only call it "nice".
Thanks, Rob.
A good example is the Adagio of Giuliani's op.15 (let's stay Viennese). More adventurous, as you say.
This one is, let's say, charmingly predictable ;)
It fits perfectly in the rest of the sonata, though. Lately, I can't get it out this Sonata of my ears.

RN

Jeremiah Lawson
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Re: Diabelli, Anton - op.29/03 Andante Sostenuto - Video

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:55 pm

My personal assessment of the sonata is that it's a high point of the early 1890s on the basis of movements 1 and 3. I know Sor and Giuliani wrote grander scale forms but I like the structural economy of the Diabelli. Sometimes Sor and Giuliani, for my ears, tried to compose large-scale forms that were a bit larger than what they could keep focused.

The phrase "charmingly predictable" reminds me of a phrase my composition teacher used to use, that there's a time for music that is trite but "delightfully trite". I don't think it's ultimately unfair to Diabelli to say his Op. 29, No. 3 is such a sonata. Yes, it's trite at a lot of levels but it works at that level, and is in F major, which may be what saves it from being "completely trite". :)

I find myself more drawn to guitar sonatas by Gilardino, Ourkouzounov and Matiegka compared to Diabelli overall, but this particular sonata in F I'm just enjoy.

The other thing I like about Diabelli's work is how readily it can be recomposed into ragtime so there are, i admit, other reasons I like some of Diabelli's work. It's public domain and the early 19th century guitar sonata themes lend themselves remarkably well to ragtime makeovers. :D

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