Andreas Stevens


Josef Kaspar Mertz, Biography


Stevens examines the biographical information about the German Romantic-era guitarist Josef Kaspar Mertz.The first one, authored in Russian by Nicolai Makaroff, became the best known because it has been available in English. By today's standards, Makaroff's recollections of the guitar's situation in the middle of the nineteenth century seem deeply subjective. Ever on the lookout for active exponents of the art of guitar playing, he met Mertz twice in Vienna and witnessed several private performances by Mertz. For better or for worse, his less-than-enthusiastic assessment of Mertz's playing has been taken at face value for perhaps too long, especially since there have been no contradictory opinions on the matter.



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