Segovia Estudio 6

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jscott

Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by jscott » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:46 am

Crofty, I was merely responding in kind to how I was referenced earlier on; it was meant in ironic fun. Umm, I can't help but notice that you didn't leap to my defense at the time. Look, I'll happily stipulate that both Stephen and Rob are far more accomplished musicians than me.

However, Le's teacher is working with him face to face. One must assume he or she makes an assignment for good reason. Le himself has agreed that working with rest strokes is to his best advantage.

Sure, there's a hundred considerations we can pile on but really, a week from now or less Le will meet with his teacher. How complicated should people make this?

Where have I gone so horribly wrong?

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:46 am

Crofty wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:11 am

Second, one of the most difficult but rewarding things to work on in this study is the accompanying bass line. Whether Sor would have played the note values literally the way they are written I don't know [any thoughts Rob?] but I certainly do and any other musician but a guitarist would do so as a matter of course. [And - of course - it would be a lot easier.]
I think that if we give Sor the respect we give to Bach, our appreciation of him would increase tenfold.

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:29 am

jscott wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:46 am

Where have I gone so horribly wrong?
Nowhere, I'd suggest simply that the various other posts offered perspectives, historical and technical, that the OP can consider; things that the tutor may well not feel has the time in a lesson to elaborate. I'd add that that for myself, contributions to this sort of discussion are also offered for the sake of the many readers of the thread who may have similar questions in their learning, for whom simpler statements may be misleading in lacking that wider perspective.
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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:31 am

Here, here.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:41 am

jscott wrote:... absolutely the melody should be played rest stroke. It's part of the reason for the study, I'd say.
While it's certainly not Sor's reason - we know that it is, according to the O.P., his teacher's reason for the study - the point is that he (the O.P.) asked,
guitarist_le wrote:What would've Segovia wanted?
and ...
guitarist_le wrote:What do YOU prefer?
This latter in particular invites responses from all and any "blokes on the internet", some of whom have active academic and musical careers beyond their virtual presence here.

Regular browsers of this forum will recognise that Stephen's and Rob's comments have their foundation in long experience and study, which is apparent from the erudition and thoughtfulness each of them brings to the table. Anyone questioning their veracity is easily able to research and confirm (or not) their assertions.

Of course, being another bloke on the internet, your opinion is equally invited jscott.

However, as your comment (stating that rest stroke is absolutely a purpose of the study) flies in the face of Sor's entire technical approach it's bound to draw contradictory responses, especially if there is something of an educational tenor to the thread.
jscott wrote:One must assume he or she makes an assignment for good reason.
I don't know about "must" ... it's sadly not a given by any means but, in this case, we already know the reason.
jscott wrote:... Le, go tell your teacher that some guys on the internet are telling you to ignore him.
Any teacher worth their salt will be fully conversant with Sor's approach and be perfectly comfortable explaining why they chose to disregard it in choosing this particular study for this purpose.
Crofty wrote:emhatically [to nick a word from Mark Gaultier
I don't recall using such a word - take that back at once.

Finally,
this from Stephen I believe expresses the intention of several of us:
Stephen Kenyon wrote:... contributions to this sort of discussion are also offered for the sake of the many readers of the thread who may have similar questions in their learning, for whom simpler statements may be misleading in lacking that wider perspective.

jscott

Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by jscott » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:16 pm

"guitaristle asked "what would you prefer?"

--He did! and I gave my response, which I still think is perfectly reasonable: play it with rest strokes. That was it.

"However, as your comment (stating that rest stroke is absolutely a purpose of the study) flies in the face of Sor's entire technical approach it's bound to draw contradictory responses, especially if there is something of an educational tenor to the thread."

Well, true enough. However, as you also stated, I was speaking in the context of le's having been assigned this as a rest stroke study, as he himself states. In my one sentence answer I didn't go into the whole historical issue surrounding Sor's approach to technique. I suppose that I'm guilty of answering a direct question rather than writing a disquisition. My apologies.

In any case what I wrote was that rest strokes were a part of the reason for this study, not the absolute reason. I found it to be a very good study in using rest stroke indeed. I suppose that I was recalling this as I dashed off my two sentence reply in fifteen seconds. I did however admit in a later thread that I'd overstated the case. Loose language on the internet! Guilty as charged.

I just hope that le doesn't show up to his lesson wearing a ruff and having clipped his nails, stopped using his i finger and refusing to play rest strokes.

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by Lovemyguitar » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:31 pm

jscott wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:16 pm
...I just hope that le doesn't show up to his lesson wearing a ruff and having clipped his nails, stopped using his i finger and refusing to play rest strokes.

:lol:

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by RobMacKillop » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:05 pm

jscott wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:16 pm
I just hope that le doesn't show up to his lesson wearing a ruff and having clipped his nails, stopped using his i finger and refusing to play rest strokes.
Stop using his a finger would be acceptable in this piece. As for the ruff, what century do you think Sor lived in? And what is wrong in playing without nails, I ask you? All the coolest cats do that!

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by tateharmann » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:12 pm

Lol yes no ruff for Sor's century! An ascot would be appropriate, though ;)
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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by jscott » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:14 pm

nm

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by zupfgeiger » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:09 am

I have never heard that Sor's op 35 no 17 was meant to exercise a proper rest stroke. I dont play a single rest stroke in that piece. To my oppinion it only sounds well with free stroke. When I worked it out with my teacher he told me that the main challenge was seperating the voices and to bring out the melody line clear and legato. It's a beautiful piece btw.
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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:25 am

Yes, it seems there are two questions arising from all this:

1. Is it ok to use a study in different ways than the composer intended, in order to develop an area of our technique we think needs work? Yes, why not? For private study, that seems absolutely fine to me.

2. What technique works best to help bring out the poetry of the piece? Thankfully not everyone plays the same way, just as we do not all think or feel the same way. Therefore some players would use free strokes, some rest strokes.

But there is another question I'd like to see being asked more often:

3. How did the composer intend it to be played/heard? I think with Sor (more than with most guitar composers of any era) that question seems to get set aside. I wonder why? Well, he - by his own admission - had an unusual technique, but, he argued, it was developed from musical principles. If you haven't read and studied his Method, I urge you to do so. Is it too odd to point out that he composed his music with his technique and musical sensitivity? I hope it is obvious that he did. It follows that to really understand why he wrote what he did, we must study how he said he played. And if in doing so we end up with a different-sounding piece, what does that tell us?

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by Crofty » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:08 pm

Rob:

You highlight a serious issue although, of course, Sor himself might have problems with his own music and style on a modern guitar.

However [of course, again] there are some excellent factory models of early guitars now available quite cheaply, as well as some wonderful luthiers with a great deal of knowledge and skill, so owning a copy is pretty easy now.

Anyway, what has always intrigued/bothered me is the arbitrary nature of notation as regards the guitar.

I imagine this study as though it were played by [for example] an oboist and a bassoonist - in which case both voices would be strictly linear and note values observed.

But, in terms of a linear line, Sor's own fingering is unclear as to his aim. Sometimes the melody notes are fingered to overlap, sometimes not and at other times the player is left to sort it out themselves. The same applies to the lower voice.

So, my own solution has been to go with my own musical instincts and finger both parts so that not only do the notes adhere to their strict values but they are also linear throughout. It makes the piece much, much more difficult [for me anyway] but also much more rewarding.

My guess is that Sor didn't actually worry about this so much himself but I wonder what your own take on it would be?

Paul

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by RobMacKillop » Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:47 pm

One frustrating part of publishing is in seeing the final draft before the printer hits the GO button - you are often rushed into making any changes. I vaguely remember Brian Jeffery mentioning Sor's frustration in this regard. Fingering is one area of inconsistency, and this piece might suffer from Sor's own dithering about different approaches.

I like adhering to the rests, even when notes go across adjacent strings. It does indeed make it harder for the right hand, but worth the effort, I think.

I don't think you need a 19th-century guitar to realise his music with some of his intentions, but it probably helps.

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Re: Segovia Estudio 6

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:43 pm

Crofty wrote:But, in terms of a linear line, Sor's own fingering is unclear as to his aim. Sometimes the melody notes are fingered to overlap, sometimes not and at other times the player is left to sort it out themselves. The same applies to the lower voice.
I played this from the Pacini imprint Paul and thought that the writing was pretty consistent (I haven't checked it before posting though).

I like the sound of the piece performed as you've tried it i.e. as a duet for two monophonic instruments but I suspect that Sor intended it to sound more like a lead instrument with accompaniment.

The (upper) melody line may be controlled quite easily by lifting left hand fingers as successive notes are executed - though this is not explicitly indicated it's how we would approach it in any circumstance. The lower part is actually harmonic in nature - consistently fingered to enable chordal ringing, but with rests before each new iteration - almost as if using the damper pedal on a piano.

The problem of ambiguity when attempting to illustrate two or more parts featuring contrasting textures on one staff is ubiquitous ... different approaches through different periods and by various composers don't make the job of a "H.I.P." performer any easier.

Sor was at least aware of the issue and made an attempt at consistency - rests indicate silence - they don't act as place-holders (as has been suggested elsewhere). Notes of accompaniment are generally intended to ring unless interrupted by the aforementioned rests or a change of harmony.

Treble melody though is not defined so clearly - perhaps because (to Sor's mind) the required effect of one melodic tone succeeding another is so obvious and important a part of phrasing that it need not be stated?
Crofty wrote:Anyway, what has always intrigued/bothered me is the arbitrary nature of notation as regards the guitar.
Where Sor had control over editing (e.g. the R.H.I. publications) we see an intricate and sophisticated use of notation indicating not only voice-leading but fingerboard shifts - and this without position markers! We know of his disaffection with various publishers - perhaps in part due to their less detailed, arbitrary as you put it, approach.
Last edited by Mark Clifton-Gaultier on Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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