Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
gilles T
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by gilles T » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:27 pm

Hello,

I just purchased, for a very modest price, a 2-CD set of the complete works by Sanz by Jorge Fresno, played on baroque guitar. Of course, I already have the records of Hopkinson Smith and Xavier Diaz Latorre, but this version, apart of being the only complete recording of the three books I know of, is a special experiment : very touching, with lots of air and space, and one of the most natural sounding record of a baroque guitar I can think of.

Very few informations online about Mr Fresno, who was a pioneer of historical performance in spain, but this legacy derserves a wide recognition amongst the lovers of Sanz music and baroque guitar in general. Strongly recommended !

Cheers,
Gilles

User avatar
eno
Posts: 320
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 4:56 pm
Location: Boston, USA

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by eno » Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks for suggestion Gilles, Sanz is my most favourite early music composer. I have Smith and Parkening recordings of Sanz but never heard of Jorge Fresno. Where did you get the CD? I can not find it on itunes or amazon. Is it part of the "History of Spanish Music" CD series? If yes which volume?
Paulino Bernabe 'India' 2001
Masaru Kohno No.20 1975, No.6 1967
Rokutaro Nakade A9 1969, custom 1967, A1 1962
Mitsuru Tamura No.800 1969
Takamine C136S 1976

gilles T
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by gilles T » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:00 pm

Dear Eno,

Yes, it's been quite tricky to find it, because the record is not listed under the name of Jorge Fresno. So, on the "big river" site, search for "gaspar sanz : obra completa para guitarra". Strangely, the page displays no detail, no photo, nothing — but the record is actually available and costs only 9,40 $.
Hope this helps, and keep us informed.

regards,
Gilles

DonaldSauter
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by DonaldSauter » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:47 pm

No doubt I'll embarrass myself something terrible with this question, but, hey, what else is new?

I looked up a youtube recording of Jorge Fresno playing some small Sanz pieces:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QrFv_YF31A

Very, very nice.

My question is this. Where are the 4th and 5th course high octaves? I think I am just hearing the lower note of the string pair in punteado passages. Is it my lousy ears, or my lousy brains, or is it the baroque guitar technique to only pluck the bourdon (and leave the high octave for resonance)? Is the high octave of the pair just strummed in rasgueados?

I seem to remember once watching a lutenist from the side and thinking, "hmmm, her thumb's only hitting the "outer" string of the pair (the low bourdon)." That memory might be my imagination.

I once converted a modern guitar into what I called a quasi Baroque guitar by adding high octaves for the 5th and 4th strings. See,

http://donaldsauter.com/baroque-guitar-conversion.htm

I don't think I admitted it in that page, but I was never really pleased with the sound I was making. In particular, those parallel octaves start driving you crazy.

In my "Playing Sanz on the modern guitar" page,

http://www.donaldsauter.com/sanz-modern-guitar.htm

I admit: "I had gone through a phase where I figured, if I can work the higher octave in, I would. That gives the exact same notes a baroque guitarist heard, right? Then the Wes Montgomery-ness of it all started to wear itself out. At the same time, I realized I actually liked a pure bass run here and there (despite Gaspar's rule about No Basses at all.) So I started weeding out a lot of the higher octaves I had put in, and Sample 3 is the sort of thing I ended up with."

Can anyone set me straight about the role of the high octave on Baroque guitar (and Renaissance lute) courses? (Be kind!)

gilles T
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by gilles T » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:55 pm

Dear Donald Sauter,

Don't worry about your ears, and be sure that something is indeed quite off in this video : it is in no way Jorge Fresno (who is quoted in the presentation for some obscure reasons) who plays, but one Ernesto Bitetti playing (quite well) on a modern guitar, hence the bass notes that raised your perplexity. The video consists only in a still image of the CD where you can decipher the name of the guitarist.

So, nothing to do with Mr Fresno, and with the complex matter of baroque guitar stringing, which BTW is made very clear in the precious text co-written by Robert Strizich and Hopkinson Smith in the booklet of his classic Sanz record. If you don't have it, I can PM you the most relevant quotes about stringing — but you already know almost everything about this matter, and your site is one of the most relevant source online for the open-minded people. Just tell me.
Regards,

Gilles

DonaldSauter
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by DonaldSauter » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:52 pm

Thanks for setting me straight on that, Gilles. I guess if my brain is told "Baroque guitar", my ears will hear "Baroque guitar". (Like my tongue will taste grape if a lemon gum drop is colored purple, haha.)

So I tracked down a nice video of Hopkinson Smith playing Canarios on a no-doubt-about-it, honest-to-gosh Baroque guitar - and I have much the same experience. My ear/brain combo doesn't hear higher octaves tagging along with the bass lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyNB-sCRACA

Do Baroque guitarists choose which of the string pair (low, or high, or both) to pluck every time they go for the 5th or 4th course? It seems that would take a LOT of thinking.

gilles T
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by gilles T » Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:56 pm

Dear Donald Sauter,

Thanks for your kind words. As far as I know (I'm not a scholar), and from what can be gleaned from the many videos of major baroque guitarists, I humbly think that they don't bother with such subtle matters as to pluck only one string in a course. Lutenists are familiar with that, and the one and only Hopkinson Smith was kind enough to confirm a question about this.

But we know that baroque guitar is a totally different beast, with three or four different stringing choices, which all favor brightness over delicacy. So much so that those stringing differences don't matter very much — at least for the humble amateur I am.

I play a baroque guitar in a so-called "french tuning" (re-entrant A and octaves for D), and the Sanz works, although specifically designed for another stringing (unison A and D) sound just marvelous this way.

Many baroque performers feel the need to have at least three baroque guitars, with different stringing, but I just feel happy with one, because it's so different from a CG, and so immediately rewarding, that it is a joy no guitarist should miss in his lifetime.

Regards,
Gilles

gilles T
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:11 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by gilles T » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:37 pm

I humbly apologize because it seems I made a big mistake in my previous post regarding the choice of plucking only one string in a course.

I stumbled upon Mr James Tyler's "A guide to playing the baroque guitar" where he states (p25-26) that some campanela scales indeed require the use of only one string in a course. This chapter is untitled "selective playing of bourdons" and, while he insists this is not a common technique, he gives some examples where the bourdons must be plucked alone, in order to avoid octave leaps.

So, my bad, and of course Mr Tyler is a far more reliable source than my previous and faulty opinion.

DonaldSauter
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by DonaldSauter » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:07 pm

[Duplicate of message below deleted.]
Last edited by DonaldSauter on Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DonaldSauter
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:21 pm

Re: Gaspar Sanz/Jorge Fresno

Post by DonaldSauter » Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:09 pm

Thanks again, Gilles. I'm still wondering, though, with regards to the Canarios performance by Hopkinson Smith, if others hear the high octaves on the 4th and 5th courses in the bass lines. Here's the link again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyNB-sCRACA

> the Sanz works, although specifically designed for another stringing (unison A and D)

I've always been intrigued by Sanz's tuning, with the lowest note being the third-course G. What on earth would that sound like? It reminds me of the running joke in the early Guitar Player magazines (from before you were afraid to take it out of the mailbox if it was raining) about the "Tallahassee tuning" - six low E strings, hahaha.

Does anyone who knows Spanish have an alternative way of interpreting what Sanz said about no bourdons? Has anyone recorded Sanz with all trebles?

By the way, the joke about Guitar Player magazine going electric way back when is not original with me. I think I read it in the letters in an old edition of the magazine.

Return to “Public Space”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Adrian Allan, albert-canuck, bear, Bing [Bot], Briant, Claudio, CommonCrawl [Bot], Gary Macleod, Jeffrey Armbruster, kertsopoulos, lagartija, Rasputin, Yahoo [Bot] and 26 guests