World Capital of Music, Vienna, during the first decades of the 19th
century, was also the city of the guitar par excellence. First in a long
line of Viennese guitar makers, Georg Stauffer made a unique synthesis
of Neapolitan and French influences; he created one of the best models
of his time - the renowned "Legnani model" - and instigated lasting
innovations such as the terz guitar and early contra guitars. In his
wake, a genuine Viennese school of guitar making emerged: his son Anton,
their colleague Bernard Enzensperger, but also Franz Feilnreiter,
Nikolaus Georg Ries, Johann Gottfried Scherzer, Ludwig Reisinger and
many others were its protagonists.
Played in concert by the finest virtuosos who have sojourned in Vienna -
Mauro Giuliani, Luigi Legnani, J. K. Mertz -, present in the most
distinguished salons in town, the guitar was widely propagated by
important music publishers like Anton Diabelli and Domenico Artaria.
Thanks to the extraordinary success of the Schrammelquartett, it knew a
popularity that even outreached the Biedermeier period and ignored all
The guitar with individual strings as we know it today was indeed
created in Italy at the end of the 18th century, but not only did major
improvements take place in the capital of Austria: here were laid the
foundations for the guitar's specific repertoire and for its future
pre-eminence, in Europe and beyond.
Based on documents mostly never been published before, Stauffer &
Co. retraces the history of this school, which has been neglected for a
long time. A selection of sixty period instruments is displayed in
individual portraits and illustrates the rich diversity of the Viennese
production. The book also revives the musical and cultural context of
the "guitaromanie", that not only made the instrument an emblem of the
romantic era in Vienna, but paved the way for the modern guitar.
A book by Erik Pierre Hofmann, Pascal Mougin and Stefan Hackl.
320 pages. 44,2 x 32,4 x 5,4 cm.
1st edition in French, German and English (2012).