This time the subject of the Guitarity is not one of my own adventures with the guitar, but the ones described by the Russian Nicolai Petrovich Makaroff (1810-1890) in his Memoirs.
This guitar enthusiast taught himself to play the guitar and violin during his training to become an officer in a Russian regiment in Warsaw. According to himself, he developed a virtuoso style of playing. After he retired from the Army (which was a a fairly young age) he dedicated himself to the good life and the guitar.
During his travels across Europe, he met many guitar virtuosos from his day, amongst them Johann Kaspar Mertz, whose work he liked particularly well.
One of the highlights in his career was the Guitar Competition that he organised in Brussels in 1856 for composers, guitarists and luthiers. His intention with this competition was to gain some fame for the guitar, to help it to win its place on the concert stages. Unfortunately his attempt was in vain.
The Memoirs of Makaroff -to be specific the guitar part- are fun to read if you skip the passages which are steeped in over-assessment of his guitaristic capabilities. I guess that the prices of an extensive dinner in Brussels (which he describes in 1856) have been raised quite a bit, specifically because it is the capital of the united Europe, which did not exist in Makaroff’s time.
I reformatted the original text file and added some footnotes.