Barcarole: Favourite Orchestral Pieces is a generous collection of Romantic gems performed by Neville Marriner and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, including popular selections by Georges Bizet, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Jacques Offenbach, Jules Massenet, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Charles Gounod, and Benjamin Godard. Because the music is mostly taken from famous operas and ballets, the album offers a mix of highly colorful and serenely beautiful pieces, though all of them are extremely tuneful and memorable.
The re-master of a 1974 Decca Record recording is excellent in execution and style. Neveille Marriner and St. Martin-in-the-Fields perform in their typical excellent manner.
After listening to these pieces, it is hard to believe that Mozart hated the flute, at least that what it said in the liner notes. It isn't important weather or not Mozart liked or disliked the flute. What is important is that he wrote these beautiful pieces for that instrument. The music on this disc, especially the Concerto for Flute and harp K.299, gliters with Mozart's enthusiasm and optimistic energy. Combine this with James Galway, Marisa Robles (the only harpist that I know of), and the expert Mozartean Neville Marriner, what you get is a great Mozartean experience.
An acclaimed Italian guitar virtuoso and composer, Mauro Giuliani, along with Fernando Sor, was one of the last great classical proponents of his instrument until its revival in the early twentieth century. He studied counterpoint and the cello, but on the six-string guitar he was entirely self-taught, and that became his principal instrument early on. Italy abounded with fine guitarists at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Carulli remains the most familiar today), but few of them could make a living because of the public's preoccupation with opera. So Giuliani embarked on a successful tour of Europe when he was 19, and in 1806 he settled in Vienna, where he entered the musical circle of Diabelli, Moscheles, and Hummel. He solidified his reputation with the 1808 premiere of his Guitar Concerto in A major, Op. 30, and was soon heralded as the greatest living guitar virtuoso. Even Beethoven noticed Giuliani, and wrote of his admiration for him. Perhaps to return the favor, Giuliani played cello in the 1813 premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7.