Mertz: Barden-Klange / Graziano Salvoni / Composer: Johann Kaspar Mertz / Performer: Graziano Salvoni / Number of Discs: 2 / Length: 1 Hours 32 Mins. In his day Caspar Joseph Mertz (b. 1806) was one of the most sought-after musicians in Europe, the court guitarist of Empress Carolina Augusta whose performances (together with his wife Josephine Plantin on piano) became famous throughout Austria, Hungary and Germany. Recorded: February & March 2013, Recording Me. To. Studio, Asti, Italy. The first half of the 19th century was a Golden Age for the guitar, seeing it's emancipation as a serious and mature classical instrument. Caspar Joseph Mertz (born in 1806) was one of the leading guitarists of his day, court musician of the Empress Carolina Augusta, and composer of a substantial oeuvre for his instrument. Mertz's guitar legacy consists of a series of short cycles called "Barden-Klänge" (Bardic sounds), evoking the romantic image of a travelling artist (bard) singing his tales, poems and legends about knights, courtly love, nature and fairies. They are romantic genre pieces, Charakterstücke, with evocative titles like Unruhe, Elfenreigen and Fingall's Höhle. These are first recordings (2013), beautifully played by Graziano Salvoni, with the right touch of sentiment. He plays on an exquisite historical "Stauffer" instrument.