CD Luigi Legnani - played by Rolf van Meurs

The development of the guitarmusic is relatively short. When people speak about the classical- and the romantic period of the classical guitar there are always two names that will come up: Fernando Sor and Mauro Giuliani. A continuation on these two names would be Luigi Legnani. 

Luigi Legnani (1790-1877) was a singer, a violinst and a famous virtuoso concert guitarist back in the 19th century. He composed a lot for the romantic guitar and in collaboration with J.G. Stauffer (1778-1853) he developed a whole new type of guitar that later would be known as the 'Legnani model'.

There are two pieces by Legnani known: 'Fantasia op. 19' and '36 caprices op.20'. But his works contains much more. Legnani adapted some opera's by Rossini, wrote variations on a theme from the 19th century, composed a guitar concerto, chamber music and much more...!

That is why Rolf van Meurs decided to record a CD which contains only works by Luigi Legnani played on a 8-string romantic guitar, the 'Legnani model'. This guitar (build by Bernhard Kresse, Cologne) sounds like the same guitar from the 19th century.

The price of the cd is €10. Do you want to order the CD? Please contact me.

 Listen to a small compilation of the CD:


1. L’italiana in Algeri op.2 (Ouverture G. Rossini)

Tre Balli nazionali
2. Mazurka
3. La Gitana 
4. La Chachucha

5. Grande Fantasia op. 61

6. Andante & Allegro op. 202 (Ouverture G. Rossini) 

7. Fantasia op. 19


Review by Bernhard Kresse, Cologne:

'I already heart it three times and i still find it perfect in every respect..... playing, interpretation, recording  and last not least the guitar (the two additional bass-strings sound..... GORGEOUS)

This is really one of the best recordings made on my guitars. My congratulations, lets hear more of this.'' 


Review by Len Verrett (early romantic guitar):

This disc is highly recommended for its repertoire, as well as for the exceptional musicality, style, and instrumentation. Luigi Legnani is one of the most important guitar figures of the 19th century, and yet very little of Legnani's concert repertoire has been recorded except for the 36 Caprices. This disc presents a cross section of Legnani's excellent concert material: 3 national dances, 2 Fantasias, and 2 Rossini overture arrangements, one of which is a stunning rendition of the famous William Tell Overture by Rossini. It is fitting that 2 Rossini arrangements are presented, as Legnani was also an opera singer, whose music reflects the Italian Bel Canto style. As a performer and interpreter, Rolf van Meurs brings energy, musicality, and appropriate stylistic treatment of this virtuosic material with ease. Likewise, the instrument is perfect for the occasion. Legnani is known for his collaboration with Staufer to design the "Legnani Model" with its elevated fingerboard, resonant construction, adjustable neck action, and other innovations. Legnani later in life focused on guitar building. The Staufer-Legnani guitar is made by Kresse, an exceptional guitar builder for 19th century guitar reproductions. The guitar sounds powerful, dynamic, and punchy, with the distinctive romantic guitar tone, perfectly suited to the repertoire. The guitar is outfitted with 2 additional bass strings, as indeed Legnani himself utilized. The William Tell arrangement was published for 8-string, while the remaining pieces were adapted to the additional range by van Meurs, to bring out a greater orchestral effect. Mertz, Legnani, and others were known to use guitars with additional bass strings, but published for the 6-string mass market, and would have almost certainly made similar alterations in their own performances. (click here)


Review in PDF from 'Guitaren' about the Legnani concert in Copenhagen:

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Listen and buy my CD at iTunes or Spotify

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