Mark Clifton-Gaultier wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:46 pm
Segovia himself shirked it releasing both the bottom F and
the A , essentially executing the accompaniment as a quarter-note.
Thank you for your reactions ; I am disappointed that there were so few responses regarding this great study which shines through its technical challenges, musical astuteness, and rich exploration of gorgeous sonorities, once you get it up to speed. Segovia really was not only a superlative player but also a great writer for the instrument ; how sad that he didn’t compose more ; meanwhile we can treasure San Luz, Oracion, and Remembranza.
I would like to disagree, though, with your comments, and – DARE I say - with Segovia if, indeed, he does ignore his own writing for the bar in question. Let us remember that this piece is a study for “daily” workouts. What are studies for if not, partly, to develop technique ? And technique on the guitar is largely concerned with stretch or, rather, lack of it inasmuch as those with a fully developed technique no longer need to “stretch” as the fingertips naturally position themselves across four, five, or even six frets ; some players (I need not mention names) will play Bass F on 6 and Bb on 1, then lift the fingers off the board and they will stay there in that configuration without them having to be “held” there ... and that’s a lovely feeling! ... Not to play bar 65 (in Remembranza) as written is to miss an opportunity to develop the lateral extension of the metacarpal phalanges (crucial for guitarists). Also, as the bar progresses through E minor, D minor, and resolves into the dominant F#, the transitional E produces an excellent dissonance (F, A, E) provided the F and A are held. The reason Segovia, in this instance, ignores his own writing(if he does) is that - despite his protestations that “Portamento is not my friend”, he often uses to great effect and with a very strong dose of vibrato to boot, at the risk of what some might call a certain lack of good taste (as, for instance, unforgettably, in Ponce’s Weiss pastiche - he just cannot resist it, and we cannot resist enjoying the thrill of the magical and inimitable sonority).
It’s true that this stretch (F, A, E) seems at first insurmountable. I persevered for the sake of the “study” spirit, and was about to give up trying when I realised that with just a little extra pressure with 2 to anchor it on the A, and a slight shift to make the LH knuckles parallel to the fingerboard (bringing the pinkie’s third knuckle closer to the fifth fret), the shift actually became much easier. A great bonus of this technical development enabled me - at long last - to play the seventh bar of Milonga del Angel - as written in the Benítez arrangement, sustaining the Bass A throughout the bar (yes, I know, Ana Vidovic shirks it magnificently, but it is nice to have the option at one’s disposal (and I have no doubt she has) !)
Guitarists often award themselves an overdose of latitude where notation is concerned ; such liberties would be inconceivable, for instance, for pianists studying the great sonatas of their repertoire ; the may use rubato and expression but they play the notes where and as the composers wrote them, or get their knuckles wrapped!
(Source : RAM)
In conclusion, striving for a so-called comprehensive technique does imply trying to master these challenging aspects, lest one should become victim of what Segovia, in one of his master classes, called “your laziness, my dear!”
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