Fantasies for solo guitar by J. K. Mertz
based on operas by Giuseppe Verdi
Alan Rinehart Guitar
Ravello Records proudly presents VERDI’S GUITAR, an album by guitarist Alan Rinehart made up of six fantasies for solo guitar by 19th-century composer guitarist/composer Josef (Johann) Kaspar Mertz. Each fantasy is based on an opera of the great Giuseppe Verdi, including such famous works as Nabucco, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, and La Traviata.
The six Verdi fantasies are taken from a larger Mertz collection of 34 similar pieces based on operas, called Opern-Revue (Op.8). These “revues” were not unlike works for piano by composers such as Liszt, which were arrangements of or fantasies on popular operatic arias. Both these and Mertz’s revues responded to the popular demand of the opera “experience” adapted for a small, private setting. Mertz’s revues are more ambitious, however—they adapt not just a single aria, but the entire opera, compressing a large-scale, 2–3 hour production into a 10–15 minute piece medley for solo guitar. Each revue is essentially a medley consisting of an introduction, arias (with variation), and dramatic high points. Mertz’s Verdi fantasies are even more impressive, considering Verdi’s mid-19th century status as a leading composer of dramatic opera. Mertz retains Verdi’s drama and flair, but also adds an element of intimacy by distilling the operas down to minimal voices in the solo guitar. Rinehart navigates both of these qualities in his historically-informed performances. His interpretations embrace the free lyricism afforded to a solo piece, resulting in new perspectives on Verdi’s masterpieces.
Guitarist Alan Rinehart has been praised for his “consistently clean and musical [performances and his] pleasantly relaxed stage manner.” He has performed extensively in his native Canada as well as in London, where he studied early lute music and historical performance practice at the city’s Early Music Centre. In addition to historically informed performances, Rinehart is an advocate of new music, having commissioned and premiered music by numerous contemporary composers. He has released five solo CDs.
Rinehart is a co-founder of The Vancouver Guitar Quartet, which made several concert and radio appearances in Western Canada from the 1980s to 2003. The quartet members were featured artists at EXPO 86, and released a CD, “Estampas,” in 1999.
Rinehart is an active arranger, editor, and engraver of music. In addition to preparing guitar and ensemble music for his own company NovaScribe Editions, he has arranged and engraved a guitar performance edition of lute music of Sylvius Leopold Weiss, as well as a volume of guitar music by A.J. Manjon.
Rinehart taught at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College for two decades, until 2003. At the former, he developed with Michael Strutt one of the foremost Canadian guitar performance programs. He continues to be active as an instructor and clinician.
ALSO ON RAVELLO RECORDS
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Catalog #: RR7975
FANTASIES FOR SOLO GUITAR BY J. K. MERTZ
BASED ON OPERAS BY GIUSEPPE VERDI
01 Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) (1842)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #22 Nabucadonosor
02 Ernani (1844)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #14 Ernani
03 Rigoletto (1851)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #21 Rigoletto
04 Il Trovatore (The Troubadour) (1853)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #27 Il Trovatore
05 La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) (1853)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #29 La Traviata
06 Il Vesperi Siciliani (The Sicilian Vespers) (1855)
Opern-Revue op. 8 #31 Die Sizilianische Vesper
Performed from facsimiles of the original publications found in the Boije collection in the Music and Theatre Library of Sweden
Recorded at NovaScribe in 2015 (tracks 3 and 4) and 2016
Engineering and Editing Sean Davies and Alan Rinehart
Alan Rinehart performs and records using D’Addario strings
Guitar on tracks 3 and 4: 1975 Masaru Kohno
Guitar on tracks 1, 2, 5 - 6: 2013 Fritz Mueller
Cover Artwork The Guitar (1834)
The cover image, was found in an antiquarian
bookstore in London, England. It had been removed
from an unknown book and sold as a print.
Executive Producer Bob Lord
Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Marina Altschiller
Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette
Mastering Levi Brown
Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell
Design Emily Roulo
© RAVELLO RECORDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.
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