Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

KDFC Radio, July 2012

The Italian composer and guitarist Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) did more than almost anyone of his era to promote the concept of the guitar as a worthy instrument for serious music. He made his case throughout Europe but especially in Vienna, where he came into contact with Beethoven, who dubbed him, “the divine Giuliani”. This new recording features works by Giuliani originally for guitar and flute but here arranged for guitar and viola. William Zito and Louise Schulman are the featured soloists. © 2012 KDFC Radio Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, July 2012

This is solid, well-crafted, and very attractive music in a late-Classical/early-Romantic style that has much in common with not just Hummel and Moscheles, but also Pleyel and Weber…The Andante molto sostenuto from the Grand Duo is only the first of the movements on the disc to take your breath away with its arresting beauty. The theme and variations movement from the G-Major Serenade is memorable, not only for the songful tune on which its divisions are based, but for Giuliani’s unflagging musical inventiveness; its minor-mode variation is another one of those breathtaking moments. In fact, Giuliani’s frequent, Schubert-like shifts from major to minor—the 2:42 mark in the variations movement of the Grand Serenade in D Major is another example—are simply exquisite.

Violist Louise Schulman’s viola by Zanetto da Montechiaro is a magnificent specimen, projecting with a rich, full-bodied, full-throated, plummy tone. Of course, Schulman has not a little to do with that, her playing drawing out the honeyed voice of the instrument to maximum effect.

For this recording, Bill Zito uses two guitars, a 1950 Hermann Hauser and a 2009 Antonio Marin.…the sound Zito elicits from his instruments—mellow, sweet, and totally free of that twangy effect not uncommon to the guitar, yet at the same time sufficiently robust and voluminous to fill the acoustic space and not be overpowered by the viola.

This is an utterly enchanting and entrancing CD…I can assure you that if you enjoy this disc anywhere near as much as I have you won’t regret purchasing it. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Maria Nockin
Fanfare, July 2012

Mauro Giuliani’s ability as a melodist was prodigious, as can be heard on this disc, and his music deserves to be known far more widely than it now is. It sounds equally delicious when played on viola and guitar. There is no comparable recording with this instrumentation…This Schulman and Zito recording is my nomination for the compact disc to play when you are stuck in heavy freeway or city traffic. Listening to it just makes everything seem better.

Schulman and Zito interpret Giuliani’s works in a free and romantic manner, so their playing is filled with lush tones and a wealth of expression. Zito shows his characteristically impressive command of guitar technique and combines it with musical sensitivity. Schulman brings out the intricate nuances of Giuliani’s music and imbues it with her innate musicality. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Kenneth Keaton
American Record Guide, May 2012

Each of these Giuliani works was for violin and guitar…and each is a well-developed multi-movement work, inspired by the Viennese classical tradition rather than operatic potpourri. Guitarists should be grateful to have them—they are well-composed, elegant and lyric by turns, with enough sparkling virtuosity to challenge players and delight audiences. The Gran Duetto Concertante is particularly inventive and exciting, my favorite of the four.

Schulman and Zito play well together and clearly love these works. Schulman’s playing is a real delight—technically pure and precise, with elegant and expressive phrasing and a lovely tone.

…it’s good to have this well-filled and well-played disc available, and I recommend it to lovers of chamber music with guitar. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group