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Fortepiano & Romantic Guitar


Sheila Arnold


Alexander-Sergei Ramírez

Since several years, Sheila Arnold and Alexander-Sergei Ramirez have been playing together in this rare combination Fortepiano & Guitar. The possibility to travel with their own instruments enables them to perform in concerthalls, which do not own a fortepiano. They have been invited to several music-festivals like “Spannungen” in Heimbach, Germany, “Schubertiade Roskilde”, in Denmark, “Euriade-Festival” in Holland; “AquisGranGuitarra”, Aachen or “Internationales Pfingstseminar Koblenz” Germany. Several concerts were broadcasted by radiostations like the WDR Cologne, “Deutschlandradio”, Belgium-Radio-and-Television and the Danish Radio. Their first common CD will be publishes in 2018 at Cavi Label. 

During the hundred years between 1780 and 1880 the structural development of guitar and pianobuilding was vast and therefore the character in sound kept changing every 10 to 20 years. Soundwise the fortepiano changed from having strong harpsichord kind overtoneharmonics to the warmer and richer sound of todays concertgrands. Just between 1790 and  the 1830s the construction of the fortepianos helped producing qualities which add up to a type of instrument that sounded much more like a guitar than does its modern relative. 

© Larissa Raiskin

The guitar in the early nineteenth century has similar articulatory qualities. Thus, the potential for the guitar and fortepiano to either give the aural illusion that it is one large instrument, or to create sharp contrasts while  playing a similar texture, explains yet another reason why the combination of guitar and fortepiano was such a popular one.

Famous composers of the “Biedermeier”-times as I. Moscheles, J. N. Hummel, C. M. von Weber, M. Giuliani or F. Schubert´s editor A. Diabelli were being inspired to write enchanting music for this rare duo combination. We have a huge number of duo works written by guitarist and composer Ferndinando Carulli (1771-1841) who had performed these pieces with his pianist son Gustavo on several highly successful concert tours throughout Europe.

Because of the possibility to travel with their own Fortepiano, the duo also can play concerts in concert halls where a Fortepiano isn't available.

More information about Alexander-Sergei Ramírez

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