Home / Topics / Strings – The guitar in the nineteenth century

Print content of page

Strings – The guitar in the nineteenth century

In the nineteenth century, the guitar occupied among the middle and working classes the place that the much more expensive piano came to acquire in aristocratic and bourgeois salons: acting as echo chambers for the operatic productions of the time (through the medium of fantasias or variations on themes from popular operas), guitarists saw their repertories increase in the twin domains of light music and demonstrative virtuosity. While the native French school shone brightly at the time – notably under the fingers of Louis Carpentras, Adolphe Ledhuy, Charles Lintant, Charles de Marescot, Jean-François Salomon and Napoléon Coste – the influence of Spain (through François de Fossa, Dionisio Aguado and Fernando Sor) and Italy (notably that of Ferdinando Carulli, Matteo Carcassi and Niccolò Paganini) is also manifest in the music composed in France for the instrument. Although it benefited from the advances of the Romantic era in terms of instrument building, the guitar had to await the invention of electric amplification devices before it could conquer musical spaces other than the salons.

    Images - 3
  • Chanteur de rue à Londres
  • Deux musiciennes (Charles Hodges)
  • Lyre-guitare Pleyel
  • Works - 5
  • Fantaisie élégiaque op.59 (Fernando Sor)
  • Fantaisie n° 5 op. 12 (François de Fossa)
  • Grande Sonate for guitar op.12 (Antoine de Lhoyer)
  • Recuerdo (François de Fossa)
  • Tournoi, fantaisie chevaleresque pour guitare op. 15, Le (Napoléon Coste)
  • Persons - 5
  • CARCASSI, Matteo (1792-1853)
  • COSTE, Napoléon (1805-1883)
  • FOSSA, François de (1775-1849)
  • LHOYER, Antoine de (1768-1852)
  • SOR, Fernando (1778-1839)