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Edited by Vjera Katalinić – Sanja Majer-Bobetko
Ivan Padovec (1800-1873) and His Age

Articles are in Croatian with summaries in English, and one in English with summary in Croatian.

The latter will be of particular interest to harp guitar researchers and historical guitar scholars.  It is titled "Guitars with Extra Bass Strings. Johann Georg Stauffer, His Son Johann Anton Stauffer and Their Contemporaries."  In these 50 pages plus 41 pages of photographs (the majority in full color) Alex Timmerman (Netherlands) presents an exhaustive investigation into European bass-guitars (harp guitars).  Alex provides this summary of his chapter:

"The aim of this essay is to show the contribution to the development of the guitar with extra bass-strings by the Viennese luthiers of the 19th century and in particular to that made by Johann Georg Stauffer and his son Johann Anton Stauffer.  Attention is paid also to the Croatian guitarist and composer Ivan Padovec because of his involvement in creating a special ten-string guitar for which he invented an ingenious press-bar system.  Fortunately, this instrument has survived time and has thus been available for examination.

"Since a chronological line is followed, this writing opens with the place of the guitar in Vienna before 1800.  To indicate the long tradition in this area of the lute, guitar and mandora, as double strung instruments, as well as to possible connections between these instruments, a concise view is given.

"In Italy the guitar had changed in the second half of the 18th century into a single string instrument and it was due to its popularizing by the Viennese guitarist Simon Molitor, that interest was awakened in local luthiers to copy the imported Italian examples.  A run-down on the first generation of Viennese guitar makers, with Johann Georg Stauffer as the foremost innovator amongst them, is looked at in the 2nd chapter, followed by detailed information made on the basis of preserved bass-guitars of Stauffer’s European contemporaries built in the last quarter of the 18th century up to c.1850.  Effort is made to link all described guitars to their inventors and/or constructors as well as to special composed music for- and first performers on each guitar type.  The survey is followed by chapter 4, where the Viennese bass-guitar is discussed and, in 5a and b, attention is given to Johann Anton Stauffer and the bass-guitars sold through the Stauffer atelier.

"After the description of Padovec’s bass-guitar, the focus gradually shifts from Vienna to the southeast of Germany with Munich as its center.  Here, during the last decade of the 19th century, a real guitar movement had been established that internationally became known as the ‘Internationaler Guitarristen Verband’.  The importance of this movement is shown by the interaction between it’s members, both guitarists and luthiers.  Examples of mutual effect and the revival of interest in old guitars are seen in the instruments made by, for instance, the firm of H. Raab in Munich and in those by the Italian L. Mozzani.

"The essay is closed reflecting the great influence on the international guitar scene caused by the lightly build Spanish guitars made in the period between 1875 up to c.1925. Specified here are those bass-guitars build by the most famous luthiers of Spain at that time; Antonio de Torres, Vicente Arias and Manuel Ramírez."

The remainder of the book presents the life, times and music of Ivan Padovec - no stranger to Early Romantic guitar players and scholars, but little known (until now) to the rest of us.

On September 28-30, 2000, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the guitar virtuoso and composer Ivan Padovec was held in Varaždin and Zagreb under the patronage of the Department for Musical Art and Musicology of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, organized by its Department for History of Croatian Music, Institute for the Scientific Work of the Academy in Varaždin, Croatian Musicological Society, Croatian Music Institute and the State Archives in Varaždin.  The proceedings encompassed all reviewed and accepted papers: some of them bringing to light new elements of Padovec’s biography, some investigating his opus and bringing new data on their number, chronology, and correcting some previous mistakes, and a thematic catalog was established.  Some audio and audio-visual recordings were presented, and upon the analysis of these works, the variety of Padovec's compositional output was brought to light, stressing his interpretative characteristics and the context of his pedagogical activity in his time.  Especially important, his guitar manual Škola za gitaru was analyzed, as was his well-known guitar with ten strings.   An entire critical introspection of the reception of Padovec’s activity in the Croatian musical historiography was done, and social aspects of his activity were investigated, especially those in connection with the then contemporary social status of musicians.  Later on, the proceedings present some aspects of the musical culture in Zagreb during Padovecs time, and – for the first time in Croatian musicology – give insight into the problem of virtuosity, in connection with the 19th-century music, and its historical changes.  A thorough bibliography of texts on Ivan Padovec closes the proceedings.

400+ pages, 7 x 9-1/2", paper

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