Mauro Giuseppe Sergio Pantaleo Giuliani (1781–1829) was
an Italian guitarist, cellist and composer, and is
considered by many to be one of the leading guitar
virtuosi of the early 19th century.
Although he was a younger contemporary and colleague of
Beethoven, Giuliani followed the more strictly
classical principles of Mozart and Haydn. This is
illustrated perfectly in his Grand Overture, which
consists of a brief, slow, minor-mode introduction
followed by a fully developed major-mode sonata-allegro
structure. Giuliani himself was a guitar virtuoso, so
this piece requires great facility and invites
imaginative coloring from the player.
The introduction is quite simple; a gently throbbing
ostinato bass note underlies brief passages that
initially cascade downward and then rise expectantly.
The movement's main matter is built upon good-natured,
even bumptious, music that relies heavily on fast
passagework and burbling tunes, with some sly partial
scales and a couple of crescendos tossed in for
humorous effect. Indeed, if this were orchestrated it
would be indistinguishable from an opera overture by
Giuliani's idol, Rossini.
This Grand Overture (Opus 61) was written in 1820 while
Giuliani was living in Rome and although written for
Guitar, I created this arrangement for solo Concert