Andres Segovia

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Mike JT

Post by Mike JT » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:09 am

I have volume 3 of the 4 CD set reissued by Deutsche Grammophon, containing works by Albeniz, Granados, Sor, Sanz and others. Although the sound quality of the recordings are not great, even by late 50's/early 60's standards, his playing is marvellous, particularly in the studies of Sor and Aguado (the later of which I am no big fan). There are perhaps cleaner, more technically "perfect" versions out there of all these pieces, but Segovia seemed to be able to bring something special to everything he performed. I would like to hear what he sounded like when he was a bit younger, though...

Luis_Br
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Brazil

Post by Luis_Br » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:08 pm

brian wrote:segovia was lucky llobet died young (no offence).
I don't understand that. Llobet died with 60 years-old...
Segovia was already a big success when Llobet was still alive.
Mike JT wrote:There are perhaps cleaner, more technically "perfect" versions out there of all these pieces, but Segovia seemed to be able to bring something special to everything he performed.
I agree that most players have "cleaner" technique today. But Segovia have done most of his recordings with only a few takes. It is not fair to compare his recordings with modern recordings. Today a computer can do a lot of things. Some players look like very clean on a CD, but when you go listen to them on a live concert...

brian
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Post by brian » Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:20 pm

llobet--1878-1938
segovia1893-1987

difference of 49 years at a time which saw tremendous
changes in recording, media, availability to the
general public, travel, etc..........

i stand by the fact that llobet would have
given segovia a run for his money. :shock:

**llobet made the first guitar recording*****

edited to clarify dates :idea:

Ruark

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Ruark » Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:01 am

What turned me off about Segovia was his ego and his elitism. Either you played classical guitar, or you were an idiot. He said the electric guitar was "an abomination." He refused to speak to Chet Atkins, because he played electric. He said the Beatles' music was "horrible." He would no doubt speak in the same tone about people such as Jeff Beck or John McLaughlin. I have a problem with that.

Ruark

Paul Saywood

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Paul Saywood » Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:15 am

Ruark wrote:What turned me off about Segovia was his ego and his elitism. Either you played classical guitar, or you were an idiot. He said the electric guitar was "an abomination." He refused to speak to Chet Atkins, because he played electric. He said the Beatles' music was "horrible." He would no doubt speak in the same tone about people such as Jeff Beck or John McLaughlin. I have a problem with that.

Ruark
Sometimes we all think that electric guitar is an abomination, Segovia was arrogant, but lets be honest here; would we all be so interested in CG if it wasn't for Segovia's work?

Paul

Ruark

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Ruark » Sat Oct 06, 2007 5:06 pm

nogin wrote:
Ruark wrote:What turned me off about Segovia was his ego and his elitism. Either you played classical guitar, or you were an idiot. He said the electric guitar was "an abomination." He refused to speak to Chet Atkins, because he played electric. He said the Beatles' music was "horrible." He would no doubt speak in the same tone about people such as Jeff Beck or John McLaughlin. I have a problem with that.

Ruark
Sometimes we all think that electric guitar is an abomination, Segovia was arrogant, but lets be honest here; would we all be so interested in CG if it wasn't for Segovia's work?

Paul
Welllllllllllllll.... yes. Segovia had utterly nothing to do with my own interest in CG. Ironically, in fact, I was strongly drawn to classical by some of Atkins' later nylon-string music. His work on the album "This is Chet Atkins" is simply gorgeous, not only in its complexity, but in the breathtaking perfection with which he plays EVERY SINGLE note. His performance of "Both Sides Now" is a beautiful example. But beyond that, Atkins was a true gentleman, kind and polite to everyone he met, no matter who they were or what they played, without a hint of ego or piety, and certainly without the rude arrogance of Andres Segovia. When he deemed Atkins as not even worth speaking to, whatever little respect I had for Segovia went down the toilet.

Here's a good YouTube clip of Atkins, although it's steel string. Keep in mind he's pushing 80 here; this was shortly before he died.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsePsTEgiqU

Ruark

MikFik

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by MikFik » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:25 pm

I love Segovia's playing but what a closed minded man he was. I BEGAN STUDYING CLASSIC GUITAR DESPITE SEGOVIA. I have allways protested against authoritarian educators but I fell in love with the beautiful tone Segovia produced and I strive to get such a beautiful tone when I play. Let's not forget that Segovia was heavily into transcribing J.S.Bach's music and that alone should put us in his debt. Such a shame he is remembered for the stupid statements he made but lets face it. He was the one who felt the need to put down other peoples musical efforts and how could that just be ignored. All musical instruments can be made to inflict great auditory harm if that is ones goal and with an electric guitar turned up loud enough it can inflict permanent hearing loss and tinitus. Maybe that was at the root of his discust concerning the electric guitar but I doubt it. We humans all get carried away sometimes with our opinions and often we speak them at the wrong time , to the wrong people and regret having said what we said. I don't know what was going through Andre's head when he made those statements but it was a very long time ago and they have little meaning today but his wonderful cordings live on.

Paul Saywood

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Paul Saywood » Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:09 pm

Ruark wrote:
Welllllllllllllll.... yes. Segovia had utterly nothing to do with my own interest in CG. Ironically, in fact, I was strongly drawn to classical by some of Atkins' later nylon-string music.


Ruark
Your case may be different, what I mean we might not be interested in CG if it wasn't for Segovia is this: without his interest the classical guitar may be as an obscure an instrument as the lute, think of the great players that learnt from him; we don't think Bream is arrogant, the players that took the batten from Segovia are the people we look up to!

Having said that, Chet Aktins was brilliant, I don't know why Segovia didn't like him.

MikFik

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by MikFik » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:34 pm

If I had the choice to hang out with Andre' Segovia or Chet Atkins I don't know which one I would choose. They were such wonderful players. I think I would learn more from Segovia but have a better time with Chet. They both did so much for the popularity of guitar.
I doubt that the guitar would have been any less popular if not for Segovia and if he didn't transcribe Bach's music for guitar someone else would have done it. I view these men as musicians- not celebrities. They both dedeicated themselves to music and for this I am very grateful.
And those stubby little fingers of Segovia's made me confident that I could learn to play well even though I also have stubby little fingers. The only real problem I have with Segovia's teaching method concerns the angle of his right wrist when playing. For me it just isn't comfortable and hampers my enjoyment when I try to imitate his style. It sure sounds good though and since I haven't figured a better way I certainly won't critisize it. Maybe it's just my wrist but for me, straight wrists (both left and right) enables me to play much longer with less strain and increases my enjoyment while playing.

Ruark

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Ruark » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:28 pm

nogin wrote: Your case may be different, what I mean we might not be interested in CG if it wasn't for Segovia is this: without his interest the classical guitar may be as an obscure an instrument as the lute
In that respect, you may very well be right.

Ruark

iammacmac

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by iammacmac » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:05 am

Hello Farhead

That was the most candid comment I have heard so far viz a viz a very respected name in classical guitar music. No I suppose no one will fault you for doing so. I am not so sure if there's anything extraordinary in Senor Andres' playing, at least I have never looked at it from that perspective. I only know that of all my classical music collection of recordings, his was one I never tire of listening. To reiterate one here, its magical. When I heard his recordings, I finally knew I found my musical instrument. I play the flute and the piano (both classical), but listening to Segovia, I knew the guitar was for me.

iammacmac

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by iammacmac » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:19 am

True, Segovia was a bit of an elitist, snobbish to an extent. The same elitism you would find in the manner that a classical pianist would regard a jazz pianist, or a classical violinist would regard a jazz "electric" violinist. He was a child of his time and he was faced with a popular resistance not faced by players of established classical instruments; piano, flute, volin, violincello. He was trying to take the guitar out of the barroom into the concert halls and invite people of "finer" sensibilities to listen. That took some work, a lot of work and because of which whether people like it or not, the classical guitar is a legitimate concert instrument, fit to be played and listened to in the most respected concert halls in the world. It still rules in the barrooms though where violins and cellos fear to thread.

David_Raleigh_Arnold

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by David_Raleigh_Arnold » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:43 am

farhad wrote:I've always had this question in my head,but I always thought if I mention it to other classical guitar players they would beat me.
Why it is said that Segovia is one of the best guitar players ever.
Don't get me wrong, his dedications to classical guitar and also raising guitar's status among other classical music instruments are priceless.As we know guitar is looked down by many classical and even Jazz musicians for being easy and pretentious.
What I mean is that I don't see any extraordinary abilities in Segovia's guitar playing.
I really want to hear other members opinions about it.
He played much better when he was alive. His ability to execute began to tank in the 1960's. You just
need to hear some of the earlier stuff. Other people's opinions about other players won't help your own
playing much. ****

Allan

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Allan » Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:58 am

Farhad wrote:
As we know guitar is looked down by many classical and even Jazz musicians for being easy and pretentious.
What I mean is that I don't see any extraordinary abilities in Segovia's guitar playing.
I really want to hear other members opinions about it.
I've personally never heard any classical or jazz (or rock) musician denigrate classical guitar. Quite the contrary, the musicians I've met, especially rock musicians--of which there are at least a zillion in LA--have always expressed the highest respect and awe of classical guitar and the dedication it takes to play it well. Many of them love the sound of classical guitar but won't go near it beyond the listening level because they say it's too hard and too complicated to play.

Do you hear any extraordinary abilities in Miles Davis' music? Three notes from his horn and you know it's Miles because nobody on the planet can play like that. And all it takes is those three notes to draw the listener in and hold them for the rest of the song. Segovia is the same to me, I hear a bar or two and I know right away it's him, nobody else can play like him.

Allan

Sean

Re: Andres Segovia

Post by Sean » Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:48 pm

An interesting read concerning Segovia is the book written by John Duarte (I believe it's titled Andres Segovia: As I Knew Him) - I managed to get my hands on the book via Interlibrary Loan. I believe Segovia had a rather sizeable ego, but I'm not unsure that this was very nearly a requirement for the tasks/goals he set out to accomplish. I don't believe for one minute that Segovia, if he were a 22 year old guitarist today, would make much headway against the ever-growing sea of virtuoso performers available today. However, considering the state of the classical guitar world when Segovia entered it, I believe you must lay down respect at his feet. Was Segovia the greatest classical guitar performer ever (well, insert your opinion here)? For me, I don't think so. But I do believe Segovia was quite possibly the most important guitarist of any age, and without realizing the many, many accomplishments he made, our classical guitar world would be a strikingly different place.

just my 2 cents . . .

sean

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