Wednesday, 2 April 2014

EVENSONG. Segovia Plays Gavotte (Bach)

He is less well regarded now, Segovia, than when I first heard this, bought  with pocket money from a record store in Belfast Market around 1965; then, he was the maestro, now, of course, we are overwhelmed by showy virtuosity in almost every field of musical endeavour; things, it seems, can only get better, and in so doing become,strangely, worse.



Mike said...

Not Sergovia at his best IMHO - witness the sliding of the left hand. Prefer him playing Spanish pieces - such as those of Rodrigo. I prefer the flamenco rather than the classical style of acoustic guitar as there is more passion and skill, especially by the purists like Paco Pena - well worth a look on youtube, particularly the early pieces. We are lucky that Paco is in Sydney shortly.

the noblest prospect said...

We'd have made a fine pair back then when all was fab, Mr Smith. You with your Segovia records and me with my Jacques Loussier Trio.

Have you heard maestro Simpson's recent release?

call me ishmael said...

Yes, I saw the JLT in Coventry, mr tnp and the Swingle Singers, too; Julian Bream was another crossover from classical; never saw him, apart from on a superb TeeVee series, they used to do stuff like that, there was another one with the disgusting old roue, Lenny Bernstein, teaching music appreciation, I guess you'd call it, on a riverside in what looked like Cotswoldia. The old BBC and indeed Thames Television had much of which to be proud.

It was Segovia who first introduced me to the mad, icy precision of JS Bach, a crazy friend for life. I guess it could all be seen as a bit precious, that sixties and seventies eclecticism but better that than Simon Cowell's amazing dancing bears.

Haven't heard a new Thompson record for a while, now, dunno if I have the strength, if you know what I mean, the old stuff exhausts me, deep and dazzling. I'll have a look.

I could never like Flamenco, mr mike; I tried; there used to be a guy called Manitas de Plata, Hands of Silver, who represented it for a few years on British TeeVee and whilst I admired his speed and dexterity it all seemed showy and melodramatic. I am sure it's not but it's flowers do not smell for me.

Joan Baez was a VillaLobos nut and I asw her at Symphony Hall, around 2000, she had a brilliant little band, one of whom was, I understand, a prominent Spanish guitarist, he did a few little bits which were amazing but for me a few litle bits was enough.

yes, he's not at his best, old Andres, but the fretboard is hard on old hands and his performance is not as crisp as on the recording. Segovia Plays Bach, his overall contribution, though, in transposing and popularising these pieces, is massive.