Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

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bodhisattva
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Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by bodhisattva » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:11 am

If pianists don't need to copy Paderewski's interpretation of Chopin's music, and in fact there have been so many pianists interpreting Chopin excellently in their own unique ways, so why do some guitar people criticize Irina Kulikova's interpretation of Torroba's "Sonatina" when she plays it in her own unique way, without copying Segovia's intepretation? (See her performance of Torroba's "Sonatina" on the GSI blog recently). Somebody complains that Irina plays too fast (but in fact she plays it not faster than the marked tempo). Somebody else states that Irina is "searching for 'individuality' that really is just an illusion" (but in fact every artist needs to have her/his 'individuality', because, without it, they are just working like photocopy machines). It seems that some guitar people believe that guitarists must copy Segovia's intepretation. For me, I think that creative musicians are not musical slaves, they must have freedom to create. I think Irina Kulikova's interpretation of Torroba's "Sonatina" is excellent and unique. How do you think?
Last edited by bodhisattva on Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's intepretation?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:20 am

No they should not copy any particular interpretation; unless they are engaged in an exercise of seeing what they can learn from such an undertaking, or are in some way acting as a tribute to that player.

It may well be that some comments are as you describe (can't say I've seen that many myself), and since everybody is free to offer an opinion in such a public forum, when comments are enabled on a video, there is no harm in it as such. But most decent players would consider such an idea the height of ridiculousness - if they would be too polite to say so in so many words.
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Peter Frary
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:23 am

Perhaps it was so in olden times, i.e., before the event of guitar studies in universities and when the classical guitar was a rare and exotic breed. But nowadays most young guitarists have either never heard of Segovia or are puzzled by his former popularity. Seeking one's own voice is the ideal we try to instill.
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tgwilt
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by tgwilt » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:30 am

As Stephen Kenyon said so well, "... unless they are engaged in an exercise of seeing what they can learn from such an undertaking" I see nothing wrong with trying to get Segovia's unique tone (nor Bream's tone, etc.) but I don't think that it is a good thing to blindly copy a previous artist's interpretation.

One thing that is often forgotten is that when you listen to Segovia, you are actually in a time machine that takes you back to the era of Romantic interpretation. Listen, enjly, and learn, but don't ape.
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:47 am

Basically for all you younger players...Segovia was to the classical guitar as Babe Ruth was to American Baseball. I first saw him on the Ed Sullivan show in the about 1957. That got me interested in playing classical guitar. Some of his transcriptions are, IMO, really mundane with horrable fingerings. Never think, because one is a world class player, they are a world class arranger. Some are though.

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Peter Frary
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:36 am

Haha, Andy S. really botched up many of Ponce's guitar solos. His recomposing and removal of major sections was often so puzzling and arbitrary. Andy's fingers were sized like tapered bananas so I'm sure this fingerings were great for him but not so much for those of us with dainty digits.
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by richtm » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:37 am

I agree with you that you should not just copy Segovia, BUT sometimes his transcriptions and Interpretation are an interesting starting point (in terms of taste, development, style, there are even better transcriptions out nowadays). So to me Segovia is like heritage of the classical guitar that we should not ignore - but of corse every body called to find his own way. And yes - Irina Kulikova's interpretation of Torroba's "Sonatina" is fantastic - a new way to this Music.
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60moo
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by 60moo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:56 pm

Peter Frary wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:23 am
But nowadays most young guitarists have either
(1) never heard of Segovia; or
(2) are puzzled by his former popularity.
That's because
(1) they're deaf, or immature; and
(2) they're deaf, and immature.

It's no different to colour-blind people looking at a rainbow and wondering what all the fuss is about.
Last edited by 60moo on Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

RobMacKillop
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:09 pm

If I set out to copy Segovia (or anyone else for that matter) I'm absolutely sure I would sound nothing like him. To thyself be true, and NEVER listen to a critic, whether they are negative or positive. As someone once said, no one ever raised a statue to a critic.

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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by GuitarsWeB » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:25 pm

To thyself be true, and NEVER listen to a critic, whether they are negative or positive. As someone once said, no one ever raised a statue to a critic.
You have that right!

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60moo
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by 60moo » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:45 pm

bodhisattva wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:11 am
I think Irina Kulikova's interpretation of Torroba's "Sonatina" is excellent and unique. How do you think?
Agreed. Excellent and unique. Segovia's is not the only interpretation. Kulikova's naysayers have missed the big picture, and any criticism of her performance, no matter how valid, is ultimately pedantic.

She passed with flying colours, even if she could have coaxed more out of the piece. If your favourite sporting team takes out the trophy, does it really matter that they could have won by even more? Of course not.

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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by zupfgeiger » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:11 pm

From our modern point of view Segovia's style of playing, his famous rubato and his romanticism, seems to be quite odd. Segovia caused a lot of contradiction on this forum which you can easily find in several threads. Personally I like his Spanish repertoire very much, but I profoundly detest his Bach interpretations. Apart from that I strongly agree to what Steven Kenyon said: Learn from the Maestros, but find your own style.
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:42 pm

Peter Frary wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:36 am
Haha, Andy S. really botched up many of Ponce's guitar solos. His recomposing and removal of major sections was often so puzzling and arbitrary. Andy's fingers were sized like tapered bananas so I'm sure this fingerings were great for him but not so much for those of us with dainty digits.
Who is Andy S.?

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Peter Frary
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by Peter Frary » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:08 pm

Andy S = Andres Segovia. Supposed to be a wee bit of humor...
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Re: Should guitarists copy Segovia's interpretation?

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:32 pm

Peter Frary wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:08 pm
Andy S = Andres Segovia. Supposed to be a wee bit of humor...
Uh ok, I thought maybe you knew him well and called him by his buddy name Andy. :lol:

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