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XVIII Guitar Convention

The XVIIIth international Guitar Convention organized by the Società Internazionale Chitarristi «Ivano Ferrari» - in Modena, Viale Tassoni, 50 - took place in Reggio Emilia on 6th and 7th October 1956.  The event was promoted by the Ente Provinciale Turismo of Reggio Emilia and the Promotion Committee of the IIIth Exhibition of typical products and of mechanics in agriculture.

At the Convention, an «Open Competition for Guitar Soloists» was presented with an obligatory piece (Capriccio n. 23 by Legnani), easy to read at first sight and one or two other pieces of choice. As only one candidate registered, the Open Competition was replaced by an «Open Contest for Soloists» without obligatory piece and neither reading at first sight. The participants had to present only one or two pieces of choice.

The technical commission, composed by the Maestri Heinz Bischoff, Benedetto Di Ponio, Martino Barbieri, Giorgio Balboni, secretary Mirko Caffagni, had to establish a graduatory of merit.

The following candidates were present:

1)   Laila Pagliarini (9 years) from Cesena, (M° Pietro Battelli), performed: Variated theme by M. Giuliani and «Andante doloroso» by Carulli;

2)   Monzani Sante performed: «Feste Lariane» by Mozzani, Capriccio n. 21 by Legnani and «Fantasia» by Viñas;

3)   Elena La Vecchia of Cerce Piccola (Campobasso) interpretated: «Preludio» by Saint de la Maza and «Preludio» by Diabelli.

The technical commission presented the follwing graduatory:

1)  Laila Pagliarini, Elena La Vecchia: ex aequo.

2)   Monzani Sante.

Without taking part in the contest performed the guitarists listed below, playing the pieces mentioned next to the name:

1)   Balboni M° Giorgio, «Capriccio» op. 20 by Legnani, «Sogno» di Tarrega and «Fantasia» op. 19 by Legnani;

2)   Cagnacci from Pisa, «Nostalgia» by Cagnacci, «Una lacrima» by Tarrega, and finally the young virtuoso Enrico Tagliavini (M° Renzo Cabassi), who presented a brilliant «Allegro».

The «Congress» as well as the «Open Contest for Solists» were hosted in the magnificient Salone of Palazzo Spalletti.

In the afternoon, several registrations were done by Italian TV. All performances were also registered by the technician Romani - Via Bligny 18, Reggio Emilia – on a magnetic tape and afterwards discs will be provided that can be asked by any interested person from the technician mentioned above.

The guitarist were all very good and received a vivid applause, especially the young Pagliarini and La Vecchia who had begun the study of their instruments only a few months ago.

At the «Congress» were present: Renato Marmiroli, President of E.P.T.; the Maestri Heinz Bischoff, Siegfried Behrend, Marga Bäuml, Walter Klasinc, Romolo Ferrari, Benedetto Di Ponio, Giorgio Balboni, Martino Barbieri, Pietro Battelli, Mirko Caffagni, Angelo Marenzi, Ugo Mori, Enrico Oberosler, Lando Orlich and others. Prof. Romolo Ferrari read a much applauded contribution about the guitar mentioning many personalities of the past (G. Mazzini, U. Bassi, E. Berlioz, C. M. Weber, G. Rossini, F. Schubert, L. Boccherini, A. Diabelli, ecc.) who had a special preference for the guitar.

He informed as well that many precious compositions of Paganini for violin and guitar were discovered and edited by Zimmermann from Frankfurt on Main and remembered finally that Paganini played in Torino with the famous guitarist Legnani.

Afterwards Prof. Ferrari presented the draft of a new method for guitar about which he was questioned by the audience and in particular by Prof. Di Ponio. In the evening of 6th October, still in the marvellous Salone of Palazzo Spalletti, took place the Concert of the famous lutenist Dr. Prof. M° Heinz Bischoff, teacher at the Conservatory of Munic and of Salzburg, with the following programme:

First part, Italian School: «Fantasia» by Francesco da Milano; «Fantasia» by Pierino Fiorentino; «Ricercare» by V. Galilei. French School: «Volte-Branle simple» by A. Francisque. English School: «Galliard» by J. Dowland. Spanisch School: «Pavana» diby Luis Milan. German School: «Preambolo» by H. Neusielder; «Fantasia» by Elias Mertel and «Minuetto» by P. F. Lesage de Richèe.

Second part, German School: «Suite in mi min., original for lute» by J. S. Bach; «Suite in la magg.» by A. Falckenhagen; «Le Dròle» by E. Gottlier «Fantasia» by H. Bischoff. Not in the programme, a composition by Pier Paolo Melli from Reggio Emilia, a lutenist of the XVIIth century at the Courts of Austria and Ferrara.

M° Bischoff played on a lute of Hermann Hauser from Munic in Bavaria.

This was followed by the Concert of the famous virtuoso Siegfried Behrend (orchestrian of Radio Station of Berlin, Stuttgart and Hamburg; guitar «Weissgerber», Richard Jacob, Markneukirchen, Goethestrasse 2, Germany) interpretating the compositions: «Preludio e studio» by Villa Lobos; «La Guarda Cuydadosa» and «Capriccio» by M. Castelnuovo Tedesco; «Garrotin», «Soleares» and «Fandanguillo» by J. Turina; «Suite castellana» by F. Moreno Torroba; «Habanera» by M. Ravel-Behrend; Preludio «Menestrel» by Debussy-Castelnuovo Tedesco; «Danza morito» by S. Behrend; «Farruca» by M. De Falla-Behrend; «Leggenda» by I. Albeniz-Behrend; «Danza spagnola» by E. Granados-Behrend and «Alborada» and «Zambra» by S. Behrend.

The beautiful evening closed with the performance of the «Concerto per due violini, liuto (chitarra) e basso continuo» by Antonio Vivaldi: S. Behrend lute (guitar), Astorre Ferrari 1st violin, Alvaro Manfredi 2nd violin, Quintilio Prodi violoncello. The main opus of Vivaldi played by the four perfectly qualified instrumentalists in an absolutely superior stile had to be repeted.

The succes of Bischoff as well as of Behrend was enormous. They are to be considered as two authentic exceptional cases with a very advanced technique and a perfect musicality.

In the morning of 7th October, the participants of the Congress under guidance of Prof. Severo Piccinini visited the artistic monuments of the town.

At 12.30 lunch at the restaurant «Scudo d'Italia» with all contributing participants of the Congress.

In the evening, in the beautiful Salone of the Società del Casino (Ridotto of the Teatro Municipale), took place the final Concert with the contribution of the young virtuoso Enrico Tagliavini who performed: «La Frescobalda» by G. Frescobaldi; «Minuetto» by G. Haydn; «Studio» by Sor; «Abeyas» by A. Barrios; «Chôro» and«Studio» by H. Villa Lobos; «Torre bermeja» by I. Albeniz and «Terremoto» with variations by L. Legnani.

Because of the vivid insistance of the public, the very good and much applauded guitarist interpretated «Variations in Sor on a theme of Mozart».

Afterwards performed the Duo Marga Bäuml, guitarist (orchestrian of German Radio Stations) and Walter Klasinc, violinist and pianist (teacher of violin at the Conservatory of Graz in Austria). The programme included: «Gran duetto concertante per violino e chitarra» by L. Legnani; «Tre danze di Bohemia» for violin and guitar by H. Ambrosius; «Sonata concertata» for violin and guitar by N. Paganini; «Grande sonata» for guitar accompanied by violin by N. Paganini; «Grande Concerto» for guitar and piano by M. Giuliani (revised by Prof. Romolo Ferrari).

The two very good orchestrians had a very appreciated success making known to many of the present authentic main pieces for violin and guitar as well as for piano and guitar.

After a general request, Prof. Heinz Bischoff and Prof. Siegfried Behrend performed some pieces of their vast and very interesting repertory, not foreseen in the programme, achieving once again the full enthusiasm of the first presentation.


A. Belletti, XVIII Congresso Chitarristico Internazionale, in «Federazione Italiana del Plettro», n. 14, 1956, pp. 3-5