Ferdinando Carulli – Opus 241 No. 21, Waltz in E minor

About the piece

10 years back I had a fling with a girl who could play some basic chords and the beginning of this song. She didn’t know what it was called but I have fond memories of her playing it while I improvised over it. I had added a bunch of basic chords myself to make it longer. Now I finally know what it’s called, how the rest of it actually went and I just had to learn it. Enjoy!

Equipment:
Mic: Blue Yeti
Camera: Canon 1200D
Guitar: Miguel Lopez mod 013f
Strings: Savarez 510 AJ

About the composer

Ferdinando Maria Meinrado Francesco Pascale Rosario Carulli (9 February 1770 – 17 February 1841) was an Italian composer for classical guitar and the author of the influential Méthode complète pour guitare ou lyre, op. 27 (1810), which contains music still used by student guitarists today. He wrote a variety of works for classical guitar, including numerous solo and chamber works and several concertos. He was an extremely prolific writer, composing over 400 works for the instrument.

Carulli was among the most prolific composers of his time. He wrote more than four hundred works for the guitar, and countless others for various instrumental combinations, always including the guitar. His most influential work, the “Method, op. 27”, published in 1810, contains pieces still widely used today in training students of the classical guitar. Along with numerous works for two guitars, works for guitar with violin or flute, and three concertos for guitar with chamber orchestra, Carulli also composed several works for guitar and piano (in collaboration with his son, Gustavo).

Many of the pieces now regarded as Carulli’s finest were initially turned down by publishers who considered them too difficult for the average recreational guitarist. It is likely that many of his best works remained unpublished and are now lost. Nevertheless, several of Carulli’s published works point at the likely quality and sophistication of his concert music, the Six Andantes Op. 320 (dedicated to the guitarist Matteo Carcassi) being a good example. The great majority of Carulli’s surviving works, however, were those considered marketable enough by mainstream Parisian publishers aiming at an amateur recreational market.

In addition to his highly successful Methode Op. 27 (which went through four editions during his lifetime and a major revision, as Op. 241), Carulli also published several supplements to the method, along with a method without explanatory text (L’Anti Methode Op. 272), a method for the decacorde, a harmony treatise, a treatise dealing with guitar accompaniment of the voice, and several collections of vocalises and solfèges. The latter studies were intended to exploit the guitar’s accompanying capabilities, and to be used by both singer-guitarists amateurs, and voice teachers who were not proficient figured bass readers.

Classical guitarists have recorded many of his works. Arguably his most famous work is a duet for guitar and flute, which was recorded by Alexander Lagoya and Jean-Pierre Rampal, although his Duo in G Op.34 achieved a measure of indirect fame in Britain as the theme tune of cult 1980s science fiction/television game show The Adventure Game. The Duo in G has been recorded several times, most famously by Julian Bream and John Williams.

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